How Cryptocurrency Transformed The Life of An African Young Man
Abdul Salam Mahamadu is the Community Champion of Give-Direct, a project of Dash that is dedicated to eliminating extreme poverty in Africa. He is also the President of the Centre for Liberty and Entrepreneurship, a Libertarian Think Tank in Ghana, West Africa working for Individual Liberty, Economic Freedom, and property rights. The young African opened up to QBITtimes about how Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies have transformed his life.
QBITtimes (QT): Tell QBITtimes readers about your background?
Abdul Salam Mahamadu aka CryptoLib (ASM): Currently, I am a first-year MBA finance student, having completed a first degree in Bsc. Accounting and Finance. I hail from Nachem, a farming community in Gushegu district, in the northern region of Ghana, where I was born and brought up. I grew up in a village full of illiterates with the highly educated person being a primary sixth-grade graduate. It was believed that nobody from such remote areas could ever get higher on the academic ladder.
I often heard sayings like: “The best education we know is farming.” I was fortunate to have been relocated to a nearby town after primary six to access junior high education, proceeding after that to Tamale, the regional capital, for my secondary education. All this while my parents and other family members always thought high school was the highest I could go since they thought that education is a privilege for the rich. Breaking this belief and fighting hard personally, from hawking of body products on the streets to selling of insurance products right after high school, aided me in raising fees for the university application form. Throughout my stay on campus as a university student for my first degree, I have lived entirely on student loans and on trading students essential items on campus.
QT: How did you get into Cryptocurrency?
ASM: I got into Cryptocurrency through a Libertarian think tank programme called Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp, which was organized by the Africa Youth Peace Call. During the event, we were educated about many things, including financial freedom through cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. I took a keen interest in Crypto and went on to study it further.
QT: Before you got to know about Cryptocurrencies, did you envisage life would be easy for you after college?
ASM: No, not at all. Before I discovered Cryptocurrency, I was a guy who worried so much about how life will be for me after college. I regretted never being granted admission into the Teacher Training Colleges I applied because it was the only way my family and I had hopes that I could get a secured job after college (become a teacher). The worry haunted me during my hard times in the university, times when I couldn’t see my struggle coming to an end with the promise of a job while enduring all the battles on campus.
I was pushed to explore all opportunities I could find and create one where I couldn’t find one. I started several nonprofit organizations, including Entrepreneurship Foundation, Lead Global International etc. which all failed in the very first year. I became an entrepreneur on campus, identifying and providing students with basic needs between lecture halls, with the hopes of safeguarding my future after college. All of these ventures taught me a lot and opened me to innovations and business ideas. This led me to the discovery of cryptocurrencies and inspired the level of seriousness and energy I invested in it. There was no clear way how life would be for me, but I kept hope, a burning desire, and dedication to hard work, all targeted at either creating it myself or improving my ability to work with others. It wasn’t clear where I was heading.
QT: How did Crypto change your life dramatically?
ASM: Yes, Cryptocurrency has changed my life in many ways. My activities in Cryptocurrency have paid so well, today my chums (supportive friends) who use to all wonder about life after school and myself are doing better than we expected. I am back in school for my second degree with my Vice President at the Centre for Liberty & Entrepreneurship. My other team members who have decided not to proceed immediately for a second degree are doing quite well in business alongside their crypto activities. I have supported 68 households with a free monthly income of Ghc700 ($150) through my Blockchain and Cryptocurrency based project called GiveDirect, with eliminating extreme poverty as its target. All of this is made possible by my discovery of cryptocurrencies and are funded by those activities. I still live off of Cryptocurrency and I have gained recognition beyond my expectations for the works I do with Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention.
QT: When you heard about Cryptocurrencies, what steps did you take?
ASM: As I said earlier, I heard of cryptocurrencies in a three days camp, one day of which was dedicated to blockchain and Cryptocurrency. The information wasn’t enough, while the lectures on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain were ongoing, I went on Google to read more about it. I got a fair idea about it, which sparked my interest, and I felt it was an opportunity I needed to grab. I created my first crypto Wallet and got one of the facilitators of the event, Afrikanus to send me a few tokens, which I kept and monitored very closely as it changed in value day in and out. I developed more interest and started joining cryptocurrency communities. I then discovered Dash Digital Cash and subsequently won a contract with them as the first African to pioneer person to person outreach, traditional media, and conferences promoting cryptocurrencies from region to region, first in my own country. Subsequently, I introduced Dash to Nigeria and other sub-regions.
QT: Let’s talk a bit about your involvement in the liberty movement?
ASM: I am currently the founding president of the Centre for Liberty and Entrepreneurship: A free markets and liberty think tank engaged in the promotion of individual Liberty, Economic Freedom and Public-Police discourse. Since the founding of CLE in 2015, through the distinctive coaching and guidance of Afrikanus Kofi Akosah, then the founder and president of Africa Youth Peace Call, I have held several seminars and media discussions advocating for individual liberty and economic freedom. My work for economic freedom was made easier when I had full knowledge of Cryptocurrency and how it ensures economic sovereignty. I have leveraged Cryptocurrency to promote my organization’s activities through funding from crypto communities and have made realistic achievements, enabling a good number of Ghanaians to make transactions and fully control their funds through Cryptocurrency.
CLE has seriously pushed the agenda as one of the surest ways to economic freedom, with no robbery by third parties in transactions, no theft by governments through taxation, and no reliance on officials to decide the actual value of our commercial activities and outputs by printing more money. It has brought true economic freedom to people within our reach as an organization. We have trained several young Ghanaians, who are today championing the course of liberty in their communities, universities, college campuses, etc. Our flagship program, which we took from AYPC (Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp), created enough resources for the training of Ghanaian youth in the liberty movement. At the moment, CLE has over 500 alumni out there who are either preaching liberty or enjoying and living their lives to the fullest as individuals responsible for their own lives in relative economic freedom.
We are currently engaging stakeholders and the government of Ghana to create a tax haven for the northern sector, which is the poorest part of the country, to encourage entrepreneurship (startups and business relocation) within the region. We believe that the best means to bridge the gap between the north and south of the country isn’t the failed social engineering and government programs such as Northern Development Authority, GEEDA, SADA and others, which end up being ruined by corrupt politicians.
QT: What message do you have for young Africans concerning Crypto/Blockchain?
ASM: My message to Africans, not just the young, is that they should take a closer look at Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrency.
There’s a lot we can achieve as a continent in our fight for financial/economic freedom, for a corruption-free continent, and for a technologically oriented continent. With Blockchain technology, we can create solutions to our major challenges, such as the lack of reliability in title deeds. We can work for a borderless economy and one currency for Africa while creating jobs and leveraging startup funds for our unemployed youth.
QT: What are some of the Blockchain/Crypto projects are you involved in now?
ASM: I am the Trusted Community Champion (the president and country Director of the project) with GiveDidect.io. Also, I am working hand in hand with Bitnation and Brian Evans on developing the first Blockchain Land Titles system in Ghana. More so, I look forward to working with other cryptocurrency communities and Blockchain firms in advancing the course of adoption, usage, and development of the Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
* Afrikanus Kofi Akosah aka Frisco d’Anconia is the Managing Editor of QBITtimes. He used to run the AYPC in Africa for almost two decades.