Del Titus Bawuah’s mission is to activate and empower young people in Ghana and across Africa to harness the Web3 ecosystem.
Bawauh’s passion for opening up young people to the opportunities that lie in the tech space is palpable, and it echoed at an event that took place in September 2022 in partnership with Global Citizen, in the run-up to the Global Citizen Festival: Accra.
Web3 Accra, a company founded by Bawuah, and Global Citizen organized a symposium titled Tech for Africa’s Development, organized for young Ghanaians, to demonstrate the potential of Web3 and creativity in the mission to end extreme poverty.
The symposium brought together students and children “who have imagination, who have a talent for creativity for the Web3 ecosystem, [to] start building the kind of narrative and memories that will allow them to see this as a possibility moving forward,” Bawuah told Global Citizen.
At the event, young Ghanaians excited about the advent of Web3 were encouraged to tap into and hone their creative side. They were also introduced to the advantages offered by Web3 to advance their creative careers.
To explain what this means, however, we must first explain what Web3 is. The Internet as we know it today is Web 2.0. It is centralized, controlled by a handful of companies, according to Forbes Africa. Tech giants like Facebook (now Meta), Google, Apple, and Amazon have completely transformed the way we trade, interact, and work. Web3 aims to change that.
The third generation of the World Wide Web is what we call Web 3.0. Unlike Web 2.0, it is a more decentralized blockchain-based application. In other words, it’s the democratized version of the Internet. With Web 3.0 comes a virtual reality world called Metaverse, NFT and Crypto.
Young people interact with virtual reality technology during the Tech for Development symposium in Accra, September 2022.
At the symposium, Bawuah brought together partners from Meridian Remote Teams, En Route, Multi-Disciplinary Creative Agency; and creative influencers like music producer Small God, fashion designer Kwaku Bediako and musician Manny Musa; who took turns to speak, inspire and mentor the young people present.
“My main goal here is to give young people a chance in spaces they may have imagined but didn’t really know how to move forward, and I wanted to show them tangible evidence of people thriving in this space. “, said Bawuah. .
“Some of the young people who are here are from disadvantaged backgrounds, unless there is an organized environment for them to have access to it, they will not have the right kind of inspiration to move forward. , and me and you know that inspiration for a young child is very important,” he continued.
With a background in real estate and banking, Bawuah stumbled across technology and the digital economy during the 2008 financial crisis. The disaster, which hit the property sector hard, forced him to diversify.
“It became very clear to me that the economic system we had was not stable enough, so I started looking into advanced technology. I started getting interested in the digital economy,” he said.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, it became apparent to Bawuah that the world was entering a new technological order and how important it was that Africa was not left behind. There must be a deliberate attempt, he stresses, to focus on technology and harness all the opportunities it can offer to meaningfully engage Africa’s vibrant youth and lift them out of poverty. .
According to the World Bank, digital technologies and the availability of the Internet are creating better jobs and reducing poverty.
Young Ghanaians present at the Tech for Development symposium in Accra. September 2022.
Web3 and Africa
“A lot of amazing worlds are being created through virtual reality, now you have a situation where a designer could literally have their headset on and a potential customer or a potential student in another part of the country can have a headset on and have a whole interaction or course on how to design something,” Bawuah told us.
Africa’s readiness to take advantage of this emerging internet order may seem skeptical, given the myriad challenges the continent faces in accessing and using technology. Despite this, the continent has shown time and time again that it is ready to embrace new technologies when the concept is brought home and made more accessible and approachable.
Ghana, on the other hand, has a growing tech sector. With more than 16 million people using the internet, this West African country is well placed to benefit from technological advances. Along with this, there is a massive digitization push by the government of Ghana led by the country’s vice president.
Making Web 3.0 meaningful, relevant and user-friendly is what Bawauh is trying to do. In July this year, Web3 Accra brought together thought leaders, industry experts and innovators from the Web3 space under one roof to position Ghana and Africa at the forefront of innovation. Bawauh continues to draw young people’s attention to Web3 at an upcoming TEDxAccra event.
Web3’s potential to lift young people out of poverty, says Bawuah, is not far off when the right access is created.
That’s why his company is developing “future innovation hubs across the country so less-privileged young locals can access basic technology like wifi, computers, and free tutorials from industry experts.” on Web3 as part of a long-term vision to equip the next generation for the digital age.