Weekly Updates

Tezos West Africa: a Q&A with Nelly Chatue

We highlighted the global footprint of Tezos this week, holding a Q&A with Tezos West Africa’s Nelly Chatue to discuss what she is working on, how she got involved with Tezos, and the perception of Tezos and blockchain in West Africa.

Nelly Chatue

What is Tezos West Africa working on right now?

We are building a large African based community and aim to expand to more countries. We are already present in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal and Benin. We plan to expand in Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo in the coming months. Our ultimate goal is to have Tezos chapters across the whole Central and West Africa countries (22 countries). 

At the community level, we are organising regular meetups, on average two per month since June. We try to have a specific learning subject for each of these online events from “Introduction to Tezos” to “Baking” to “Smart Contracts 101.”

So far we had 8 meetups, a 3-day training series on smart contracts with SmartPy and a premium sponsorship of BlockDefi Africa conference a week ago.

As the pandemic is receding in many African countries, offline meetings will resume starting with Ghana with of course all the necessary precautions indicated by local health services.

We also plan to launch a 1 month training series in French and English before the end of the year so as to bring more African developers to Blockchain and Tezos.

Finally, we are leveraging Ejara during our events to further Tezos adoption on the continent by giving away some XTZ and helping people get familiar with the Tezos blockchain and underlying value.

Ejara is the only non custodial platform in Africa which allows local customers to buy and hold their bitcoin and XTZ with an on ramp fiat.


How did you get involved with Tezos? Why not focus your work on another public blockchain?

I came across Arthur’s initial white paper in 2016 basically at the same time I fell into the rabbit hole of Blockchain & crypto. Being a computer science engineer myself, formal verification is what spoke the loudest to me initially. I am too familiar with the limitations of unit tests and non regression tests when developing a code to only rely on that for a protocol that aims to help secure my wealth.

Tezos was the 2nd ICO I participated in after Gnosis and I never doubted the project since then.

Finally, Tezos has a self amending blockchain with a strong governance. Tezos can upgrade itself and each token holder is part of the evolution of the protocol and has an active role to play which strengthens the feeling of being part of a growing community.

In summary, I came for the superior tech and I stayed for the fantastic community.


What is the perception of Tezos, and blockchain generally, in West Africa?

There is a lot to be done, and it’s actually a great time to build and develop awareness around blockchain/crypto in Africa. A lot of scammers are operating in the region, attaching a bad reputation on cryptocurrencies and it’s fantastic that the Tezos Foundation is supporting us as we are able to bring crypto the right way and educate the population on this innovative technology.

Bitcoin is king in Africa however Tezos is beginning to grow its reputation due to opportunities to earn staking rewards. I hope Tezos can become the Queen 🙂

I am convinced Blockchain will be a key ingredient in “Africa rising” rhetoric in the coming years; I intend for Tezos to have an enviable seat at the table.


What three things are you most excited to see built on Tezos?

CBDC to improve the existing wholesale financial system and increase the fluidity, efficiency and effectiveness of the entire deal flow. I am elated that Tezos was chosen by Banque de France to run Euro CBDC trials. I hope African central banks in the future get more interested to run such trials in the coming months; we are ready at Tezos West Africa to be a partner for such endeavours.

The latest protocol amendment will enable Defi/DAO opportunities which is now the hot topic and is a great fit for Tezos. Tezos is a community driven protocol and it’s really a natural fit for these use-cases.

Finally, I can’t wait for privacy features to be integrated with Zk-snarks as it will open up more practical applications for individuals as well as institutions. It will after all be the world first privacy coin with smart contract capabilities

And a bonus one! I would love a future amendment to be named after an ancient sub-saharan African city; I can suggest Harar (Ethiopia), Ife (Nigeria), Kumasi (Ghana), Kano (Nigeria).

Additional Ecosystem Updates:

We are excited to have released the latest Biannual Update this week, which provides insight into and a detailed overview of our activities over the last six months. We also published a brief update on community engagement, including that we are hiring a community manager, that you can find here. Below are some additional updates from around the ecosystem:


How do you plan to spend the “war chest” money in the next two years? Do you have any “roadmap” or directions in which areas you will spend that money? How much money(FIAT, BTC,ETH) do you plan to have after five years(plan not to spend from the war chest)?

We plan to deploy capital in a number of ways to attract developers, improve the core protocol, develop strategic partnerships, and continue building the reputation and popularity of Tezos. One current focus area is to improve coordination of tech teams within the ecosystem in order to strengthen core development to end-user applications and developer UX, and we also plan to continue to invest heavily in efforts to facilitate the technical growth and development of the Tezos protocol. Additional details about the Foundation’s finances can be found in our most recent Biannual Update.


What is your strategy to tackle the problem of popularity of other blockchains like AVALANCHE, POLKADOT, NEAR and decline of interest of TEZOS? How do you plan to raise interest of devs and community for TEZOS short(till EOY) and mid term(till end of 2021?)

We plan to continue efforts to improve the core protocol more regularly, along with ensuring that our expenditures on applications and marketing are both properly calibrated to grow the reputation and popularity of Tezos and directed towards entities that can deliver most effectively.


Is there an update of status of the publicly available grant portal with status of grants?

As highlighted in our recent Biannual Update, the new grants platform will go live in Q4 of 2020.


What metrics does The Foundation look at to measure the success of their endeavors in promoting the Tezos protocol?

As the protocol has developed, including the development of robust smart contract standards and exciting first use-cases on Tezos, metrics such as gas fee, storage burn, etc. are becoming more important, and serve as useful metrics for the success of the protocol. Other factors we consider are growing brand awareness and reputation, along with successes in high-profile RFPs such as the recent announcement that Societe Generale – Forge has selected Tezos for its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) experiments.


Is there a decentralization process of treasury funds in the pipeline? Starting simple with a small number of funds with the ultimate goal of creating a full treasury DAO?

As we announced earlier this week, we have approved funding to TQ Tezos and Tezos Commons to roll out a new community rewards program in the next few weeks that will allocate some treasury funds for community disbursement. For this program, we will allocate XTZ to a multisig contract each month. That XTZ will be disbursed as rewards to community members for contributions they’ve made to the project that month. TQ Tezos and Tezos Commons will follow up in the coming days with further details about how the program will work and we look forward to seeing how this new initiative sparks community engagement and incentivizes participation in the ecosystem.


Will the Tezos Foundation expand geographically? Zug is fine and good for tokenized assets/institutional finance, but a bit cut off from the rest of the world, lets get a bigger presence in US, Asia etc. We are a virtual world, doesn’t all have to be in one place.

While we are based in Zug, the Tezos project is global and decentralized, and we are always looking to expand our presence in different regions of the world. As highlighted in our recent Biannual Update, we have given grants to teams and projects in 25 different countries. Additionally, there are a number of entities in the Tezos ecosystem which serve to promote the project regionally, such as Tezos Brazil, Tezos China, Tezos Commons, Tezos Gulf, Tezos Hub in Berlin, Tezos India, Tezos Israel, Tezos Japan, Tezos Korea, Tezos Ukraine, Tezos West Africa, TQ Tezos, and TZ APAC in the Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to making the ecosystem even stronger in regions we’ve already entered, and expanding the project to new regions.

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