MAY 21, 2014
“African Diamond”: Alakanani Itireleng is opening Botswana to Bitcoin
Alakanani Itireleng: the most important person for Bitcoin in Botswana.
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Bitcoin Botswana Community Group founder Alakanani Itireleng has had quite a year so far, and is back from Bitcoin2014 in Amsterdam already continuing her pioneering work.
Itireleng’s work educating and improving Bitcoin’s stance in Botswana has attracted significant attention over 2014, including from Bitcoin Foundation’s Elizabeth T. Ploshay, who organized a funding round to secure her an attendance spot at this year’s annual conference.
Now, she is pressing ahead not only with Bitcoin awareness but creating vital integration of the currency with local projects, demonstrating its genuine functionality as a force for good in environments which need it most.
Dedication with tangible results
“Alakanani has recognized that she can be instrumental in the promotion of Bitcoin and at the same time make a real difference in her country,” a press release about her projects reads.
Itireleng is currently working closely with Agnes Malanda from SOS Botswana, operational for over 30 years, to raise funds for orphanages in Botswana, which has the third highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world according to World Health Organization and UNICEF data.
“The SOS program for me means a lot, means the opportunity to change and contribute positively in the life of an individual who is in need,” Itireleng said, “It means being part of the country's vision of being a compassionate and caring nation. I care and Bitcoin for me offers the opportunity to do that and raise funds for them without borders.”
She is also mindful, like many evangelists, that image is paramount if Bitcoin is to achieve widespread acceptance in any country.
“This is also to show that we the Bitcoin community are not greedy or thieves as people tend to think. Let the good outshine the bad and I am showing how to do just that,” she added.
While that goal is a major undertaking, admirable progress has already been made, with Itireleng having convinced South African exchange ICE³X to convert all donations to the project into Pula with no fees. She is now sourcing scratch cards to allow further promotion of Bitcoin on the ground.
While the age of Bitcoin is very much dawning in Africa from many sides, the input of dedicated individuals like Alakanani Itireleng cannot be underemphasized in making it a success where its potential is so great.
Donations to Itireleng’s projects can be made via her blog page here, in both Bitcoin and Litecoin.