CAPE TOWN – Sekunjalo Investment Holdings has partnered with a leading company in China, Ultrain, to build a pan-African public chain that would create an Africa-wide blockchain-enabled business ecosystem, the African Chain 3.0.
The system went live on November 11.
Ultrain is a public blockchain for commercial usage set up by former Alibaba Security Group technical director Ray Guo, managing director; Golden Brick capital/senior investment banker Emma Liao Zhiyu; and Ant Financial Group Blockchain technology leader William Li.
Sekunjalo and Ultrain will develop a robust new generation of financial infrastructure in Africa that is commercially sustainable, and responsible. The African Chain will be run together with Sekunjalo’s pan-African e-commerce platform.
The foundation will be built on public access to a commercial use blockchain model developed by Ultrain to handle payments, clearing and, potentially, lending, among other key financial services, all of which are aimed at providing African people and businesses with convenience.
Typical businesses that will benefit from the African Chain include travel, luxury goods, supply chain, sharing economy, healthcare, retail, media entertainment, new energy sectors and many other industries, trading in the 4th Industrial Revolution and beyond.
Earlier this year in China, Ultrain partnered with Chinese streetwear empire Yoho! They launched an Ultrain-built blockchain sneaker traceability solution for their unique fashion object trading platform.
Dr Iqbal Survé, chairperson of Sekunjalo, said: “I am excited about this partnership and investment with Ultrain as the potential to radically change and enhance how the continent does business is unlimited.
“Sekunjalo is delighted that the advances China has made in technology are now going to be made available for an African payment infrastructure. The opportunities for collaboration with Ultrain are immense, and we are therefore looking forward to growing our joint footprint on the African continent, and positively contributing to Africa’s digital evolution.”
Survé said Ultrain and Sekunjalo, through various networks, including the Belt and Road Networks and the Belt and Road African Fund, were looking forward to expanding the vision of President Xi Jinping for the Belt and Road to have a positive impact for all of the people living and working in Africa.
The Chinese president has expressed support for blockchain in China as part of a process of building Chinese digital ecosystem. The Ultrain and Sekunjalo partnership seeks to bring similar benefits to the African market.
Ultrain and Sekunjalo have also jointly committed to directing a substantial part of the profitability of their partnership to philanthropic initiatives in Africa that will include the training of young Africans with an emphasis on women in blockchain technology and payment systems.
Through the offices of Survé Philanthropies, an additional foundation will now be established for blockchain technology training in Africa to be co-chaired by Survé and Emma Liao.
This story first appeared in the Business Report Online