The Fundamental Reasons Why Sub-Saharan Africa is Responding Relatively Slowly to Cryptocurrency: Focus on Nigeria
Slow acceptance of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies in Sub-Saharan Africa
With a population of over 170 million people, and land-mass covering an area of over 900,000 Square Kilometers, Nigeria is naturally expected to be a front-runner within the global ecosystem of innovations and technological advancement. On the contrary, the attitude of the largest black nation in the world has proven to be the proverbial “late bloomer” whenever there is a wave of new technological ideas cutting across the globe. That notwithstanding, whenever it eventually hits the ground, its economic impact will not go without notice.
The predominant slow acceptance of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies is not different from what has been seen with previous new ideas, as very few people agree to have the slightest opinion on what Bitcoin is all about; very few people would admit to know that it is merely another kind of online currency.
Zainab Adeiza MSc. is a lecturer of the Faculty of Science at the profound Baze University Abuja. Having acquired her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and University of Jos, Plateau State, she stands high to understand the general attitude of present generation Nigerians and their receptivity to new ideas in a constantly evolving social and technological environment.
Here we bring you the details of an interview with Zainab Oiza Adeiza on her opinion on the reasons for such reluctance from the Nigerian public towards cryptocurrencies.
Two Major Factors Are Responsible For Nigerians’ Reluctance Towards Bitcoin
We have noticed that the majority of Nigerians currently appear to be either ignorant or not very interested in Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. However, it’s unclear what this attitude could be attributed to.
According to Zainab Adeiza the nonchalant attitude of Nigerians towards new ideas is not restricted to Bitcoin. It’s an issue that cuts across every aspect of technological development as far as Sub-Saharan Africa and especially Nigeria is concerned, and this can be blamed on two major factors.
Zainab Adeiza said:
“As a matter of fact there's a myriad of things holding us back but in my opinion the two most fundamental factors are: ‘our mindset and bad leadership’.”
“Most smart people from affluent homes end up abroad where they can actualize their dreams thereby leading to a brain drain. And as to mindset, those of us left behind just want to get by and nobody wants the trouble of being a trailblazer.”
She went further to explain that both leadership and mindset could be tied up to what makes up the immediate environment within which an individual operates. This explains why a good number of locals, who have been unsuccessful within the shores of the nation, have gone to flourish over a short period of time in more developed countries.
There has to be a change in the way of thinking
We asked Zainab Adeiza about what in her opinion must be done to ensure that a big nation like Nigeria, with such huge potentials, does not keep blooming late. As it stands, other African nations within the West African sub-region seems to be looking up to Nigeria for leadership and direction.
Zainab Adeiza commented:
“Frankly, mindset change starting with the corrupt elite who still believe in taking what's not theirs and stashing it under their beds and in between their walls. This will stem the flow of cash around. It will also stem the flow of bribery and cap-banking. Which will be great for our economy, then we the educated ones who just love to carry cash around, then the rest of the people. This won't happen without the proper infrastructure in place.”
“How do I tell Mr. A about Bitcoin when there's no network in his village to power his online transactions?”
She continued that she’s tired of the blame game: “We as Africans are always willing and ready to shift the blame and not accepting our part in the problem, and this defeatist mindset is what has kept us stagnated and not moving as fast as other counties technologically. Take the new Arabia (Qatar and the UAE) for instance, they have been able to achieve all this because they took a look at the advanced countries and decided they too want to be like them and they got to work. They did not sit back waiting for the West to come and help them, they started helping themselves and the West noticed, took interest and became a part of the system.”
Zainab Adeiza concluded:
“Everyone wants to be part of a success story. So if Africa rises up and decides to better itself from within, foreign investors who are part of the driving force of any thriving economy will join in.
Right now most investors in Africa have been taught by our actions or inactions that it is okay to exploit and leave, as such Africa continues to remain behind. Our mindset really has to change!”
Cointelegraph believes that our readers will find this very thoughtful and know that the change we crave begins from within us as individuals.