Media company Take Back the Mic (TBTM) with currently piloting an in-app digital currency called Kola, which functions as a token reward for consuming content and can be exchanged for other services, including data allowances.
CEO of TBTM, Derrick N. Ashong disclosed this in his keynote address during one of the sessions at the just-ended Mobile World Congress Africa 2023, in Kigali, Rwanda.
He noted that the innovation is designed to bridge the yawning digital gap by helping at least 70 per cent of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa reach high-speed mobile data usage by 2030.
“We go from content viewing to e-commerce transactions; there’s deeper data, and now the communities have better access and get connected. This enables all the social good we want to engage in to come to fruition,” he stated.
Ashong said TBTM is currently working with MTN Nigeria to expand the service.
He called for more solutions to combat the connectivity divide, as he argued there was a lack of investment in ICT infrastructure in Africa.
According to him, the lack of investment is limiting underrepresented communities from adequately communicating their culture to the world.
“Imagine a world where African youths have the bandwidth to consume and create their own content,” said Ashong, pointing out that “the money has not been there to take our industry to where it should be because our [mobile] customer base is missing”.
“Yes, we have 1.4 billion people, but how many of them are actually connected to 4G services that enable them to consume and upload content so the world can hear the African perspective?” he said.