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Conversation with EOS Nairobi on Ubuntu Energy Ledger and the Future of Dapps

Late October, EOSForce team reached out to EOS Nairobi as an invitation to the African EOS developer community to join the EOSForce Global Dapp Developer Contest. We have long been looking for global partners for EOSForce mainnet and EOS Nairobi’s deep engagement in the EOSIO ecosystem soon caught our eyes. With great enthusiam, Brian Kimotho soon brought on board Ubuntu Energy Ledger (UEL)project, which was greatly well-received when it was revealed in the EOSForce Asian/Chinese community. Now it’s on its way as a Project Finalist competing for the top prizes.

In between, we wanted to strength the communications between EOSIO communities in the West and the East. So we asked Brian a series of questions about UEL, EOS Nairobi, and their view on the future of Decentralized Applications. With support from EOS Nairobi, now this is published as a community series as a part of EOSForce Global Community Connection campaign in both our Korean, English and Chinese channels.

Conversation Participants:

JC Zhang— EOSForce Global Operations Manager
Brian Kimotho — Head of Community, Ubuntu Energy Ledeger

JC: Tell us about the team behind UEL and where you guys are from.

Brian: Ubuntu Energy Ledger is a project that brings together people from various backgrounds and expertise, united with one vision: bring decentralized and clean energy to the world. Our DAPP team comprises of Brian Kimotho and Victor Amwollo from Kenya’s EOS community, and of Vital CEO of the Ubuntu Energy Ledger company. The three of us met and formed the DAPP team during the EOS Africa Virtual hackathon having spoken to an entrepreneur mentor who introduced us due to our shared vision for Africa. Brian and Victor share a common background in IT and embedded systems design and development. Vital is an IT entrepreneur from Benin who founded Exportunity Group, named Mauritius best fintech startup.

The UEL company is run everyday with the support Mamadou Toure, former Managing Director of General Electrics — Africa and founder of Ubuntu Capital; Olga Johnson, director of the Energy for Africa foundation and councilor of Paris 17th Arrondissement; and many other great minds who believe in disrupting to world for the better. We work with a diverse advisory board from France, Benin, US, Spain and Denmark.. They range from Martial Lê Bozon who headed up sales as the region sales director for P&G and now is a serial entrepreneur involved with AI and blockchain startups to Ryan Tucker who sold his startup to Marc Benioff of Salesforce and is heavily involved in the Blockchain space over the past few years.

JC: So what’s this Dapp you guys are developing and how does the blockchain technology helps you?

Brian: We are developing a DApp that will help local communities sell off the surplus electrical energy produced by solar panels or others sources of clean energy during the day, when their batteries are already fully charged. This will help them have an additional revenue stream making them self-sufficient and also helps preserve the environment for future generations by promoting use of clean energy and discouraging reliance on fossil fuels. We see blockchain helping us achieve this by tracking payments made by consumers to a smart contract that in turn controls smart meters by issuing tokens that match the amount of EOSC used to prepay for the electricity bill.

JC: So now let’s talk more in-depth about Decentralized Application in general. Most of the Dapps on EOS are betting and game dapps, but Ubuntu seems to have an actual impact on people’s everyday lives. What’s your view on the status quo of decentralized applications?

Brian: We believe that this is the natural progression of technology adoption. The Gambling and betting industry is usually very bold to get into new technologies faster than other industries.It is important since they create standards, test the limits of the technology and offer an improved platform to applications such as Ubuntu that come and meet a community and user base alongside tools, plugins and best practices created by the industries that adopt the technology early. Eventually solutions that come to provide solutions will start flocking to the technology and will end up being the dominant players in the space.

JC: EOSForce is a parallel chain to EOSIO with new governance and resource features. How has the experience been on building on it so far?

Brian: We have been working on the smart meter component so far. We are yet to begin coding the smart contract for this DApp. We are discussing the various models (business and revenue) that we feel could fit this kind of project.

JC: EOSIO is a global blockchain ecosystem. Many eastern EOS communities are not that familiar with African communities like EOS Nairobi. Tell people what the blockchain space is like in your region.

Africas Blockchain space is in its infancy stages compared to regions like China, communities are growing from the different African states with notable activity being in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.The three countries are large holders of Bitcoin in the world.The blockchain ecosystem needs more investment so that it can flourish.

The space will need investment in developer skills in order to get a large pool of competetnt developers who can build and maintain blockchain solutions.Investment will also need to go towards Venture Capital as a key pillar in any ecosystem as a source of finance for both development and research.Universities also need to have competent staff focused on research around the space.All these are investments that are needed in Africa in order to have a thriving blockchain space that gives rise to large companies that absorb the talent pool and offer capital opportunities.

Africa however has many advantages one of them boing a very industrious and self driven youthful population.The young in Africa are setting up communities, investing in developer training and sourcing for capital for the development of the industry.Communities such as EOS Nairobi, EOS Africa, EOS ZA and EOS Nigeria are all growing the ecosystem on the continent by filling the gaps that exist.

With the launch of the African Digital Assets Framework, a pan African initiative by young Africans is a collection of standards for players in the blockchain space to use for the growth of the industry,this acts as a self regulation standard that has received support from notable and influential personalities and institutions in Africa such as Dr. Ameena Gurib-Fakim, 6th president of the republic of Mauritius, Queen DIambi Kabatusuila Tshiyoyo Muata, Her Royal Highness Queen of the Bakwa Indu at Kasai Kingdom, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Africa Development Bank and the African Union.

According to GSMA, mobile subscriber base in Africa stands at 444 million with 250 million connected smart phone devices.Internet penetration in Africa stands at 44% covering more than 450 million internt users in Africa.

Blockchain has the potential to reach millions with the right investments in place.

JC: EOSIO sister chains like EOSForce are now expanding globally rapidly. EOS Nairobi has always been leading in global EOSIO efforts from the upcoming Olso BP Summit and EOS Conference late November. How would EOS Nairobi like to join EOSForce mainnet?

Brian: EOS Nairobi would like to join the EOS Force community.


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