Place/Date: Bissau, Guinea - November 21st, 2017 at 1:34 pm UTC · 4 min read
Blockchain implementation is a broad subject when applied to matters of innovation and development. Using the Blockchain to achieve developmental goals is a phenomenon that is gaining popularity among the developing countries of the world, where basic infrastructure is still a primary need of citizens.
Two most important elements of technology
In most parts of Africa, infrastructure such as electricity, potable water, access roads, Internet among others are unavailable, not because of a lack of resources, but due to the absence of honest, transparent and secure technical and administrative processes.
Leveraging the Blockchain is enabling a lot of companies to achieve developmental goals, by eliminating the hitherto human and bureaucratic obstacles that have slowed down these regions so far.
Along with electricity, Internet service is one of the most important technological elements needed for any nation to keep up with global advancement, yet many developing countries are still left out of this opportunity of economic advancement.
High speed Internet provider, Cajutel, is using Blockchain technology as a tool to raise capital for the development of Internet services in Guinea Bissau and Guinea.
The CEO of Cajutel, Andreas Fink, explains that his company has embraced the Blockchain and ICO methodology of raising capital, in other to open up opportunities for investment to smaller investors.
This has become necessary due to the existing difficulty in getting huge investors and venture capitalists to embrace the project using existing traditional processes.
According to Fink, his company’s ICO is different from most other token sales because in Cajutel’s case, company shares are exchanged for cryptocurrencies. Unlike other ICOs where tokens bought by investors exist afterwards as independent entities in the cryptocurrencies marketplace, Cajutel’s tokens are tied directly to the project as shares.
This implies that investors are offered the opportunity for long term investment benefits, as purchasing such shares automatically qualifies an investor as a shareholder of the company.
“In our case, we are using the ICO in a more traditional way, which means that we are raising funds against the shares of the company, because at the end of the day you will have investors who put money down and expecting a return, they want to participate in your revenue which you are giving up.”, says Fink.
For what it is, Internet service stands out as a platform upon which numerous aspects of human and regional development must rely.
From financial services to other basic processes of data storage and management, the role of the Internet has become very crucial, especially over the last three decades.
As a tool for national development, Cajutel is looking for an investment of $30 mln to cover Guinea-Bissau and Guinea (the big plan), or a minimum of $12 mln for a slower building plan to only cover Guinea-Bissau.
This is a target that the company plans to use in achieving what it describes as a revolutionary nation-building procedure, considering the fact that its present competitors are just two mobile operators MTN and Orange, offering Internet speeds that are limited to 256kbps ($60/month) while business offerings go up to 1Mbps ($1400/month).
Cajutel’s vision is to build the most cost effective broadband access network, and to provide state of the art communications for its customers – thus creating a big boost to the education and economy. The company also plans on delivering affordable, reliable Internet communication to the local market, and is focused on providing the best performing mobile data network for Guinea-Bissau and Guinea.
Another key area where Cajutel plans to improve in serving the nation, is improving the speed of Internet to a level that has never been achieved in the region.
“Catujel will be the fastest Internet provider in the area for the public, outperforming existing operators offering by a factor of 10x to 100x with an at least 30 percent cheaper price. This enables Internet technologies not currently present in West Africa simply due to lack of bandwidth and too high prices. It makes it affordable for the general public to get access to the Internet. That is why only less than 2 percent have access today. So there’s 98 percent available to be grabbed by us”, says Fink.
Internet service is a real world project that cuts across all parts of the globe. The globalization phenomenon is essentially lubricated by Internet technology, therefore for purposes of national and regional growth and development, the Internet is an essential tool.
Africa and the rest of the developing world are implementing the Blockchain as a tool to enable them to catch-up with their peers, in terms of infrastructural development. This is largely achieved by reducing the level of human and faulty administrative interference, as the Blockchain guarantees transparent, secure and trustless working processes.