Memorandums of understanding and the africa projects

I recently read and looked at the blog post of Lars Brujenes on Haskell class for Ethiopia and Uganda women. At first I was slightly worried this was mostly just PR and the initial video interview it seem that way as well as the impression was these women did not ask much. Luckily after reading the blog post I think that is far from the case and this looks like it was a great learning situation and one tiny step forward (and we need many such tiny steps.) In any case I want to give a big clap for Lars, Polina and the collegues as they seemed genuinely interested in doing this work.

However one thing that has me worried is the thinking that the MOU’s (Memorandum of understanding) is going to equal actual deals. I saw this first hand in the solar industry when I was doing analytical work there. Frankly usually these MOU’s where not worth the paper they where written on. Most of the deals never panned out into an actual contract. I am not saying this is going to be the case nor that these are same type of industries. What I am saying is that I do not think Cardano has hit its goal in the region after signing such MOU’s. Frankly that is when the real work starts and I look forward to seeing some actual implementations and some actual contracts in the region as Africa has a great chance to leapfrog.


You hit the nail on the head with this observation. While MOUs are good for visibility and capturing intent, they aren’t legally binding.

As someone who has closed multiple deals overseas I can tell you that doing something on a country level requires a lot of work at high levels. It takes time, diplomacy and money to achieve anything.

One thing that we need to take into account in developing nations, is that power and decision making is almost always centralized.

One will not achieve much without having the local government buy into your product, message, etc. You could have an amazing platform that would solve myriad of problems, but if it requires giving up control (political or economic) you’d have a tough time getting anything off the ground.

While I applaud the grass-roots approach taken by IOHK, I think to have a real shot at this we need to explore commercial /economic vectors that align Cardano’s interests with those of powerful international bodies.


We have to start somewhere… an MOU isn’t the end goal, but it is a stepping stone in the direction that they project wants to go. I think it’s important to remember that this is an emerging tech that is still quite nascent. Trust and understanding will take time.

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