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Kenyan startup launches blockchain-based solid minerals trading platform

17 Apr 2019, 04:02 pm
Financial Nigeria
Kenyan startup launches blockchain-based solid minerals trading platform

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Sawa Minerals is the first blockchain-powered trading platform for solid minerals in Africa.


Sawa Minerals, a Kenya-based startup, has launched a platform that aims to transform how minerals are mined and traded across Africa. Using blockchain-powered smart contracts, the startup makes it easy to buy and sell ethically-mined precious metals and stones in a transparent manner. Sawa Minerals is the first blockchain-powered solid minerals trading platform in Africa.

According to a statement released by Sawa Minerals on Tuesday, the platform is designed to simplify the transactions of minerals from artisans and small-scale miners (ASMs) in Africa and the developing world. In many parts of Africa today, ASMs provide a significant portion of mineral production. However, most of them remain poor and exposed to hazards and the constant threat of conflicts. According to Sawa Minerals, this happens because middlemen and vendors offer miners exploitative prices, and resell the products at high profit margins.

“Artisanal and small-scale mining is an important supplier to key sectors of the global economy including manufacturing, construction, jewellery and electronics,” said Kali Angwa, CTO and Co-founder of Sawa Minerals. “If all of the world’s artisans and small-scale miners stopped working today, up to 20 per cent shortage of Gold and Diamond, and 80 per cent shortage of Sapphire will be recorded globally. The ASM community deserves to be treated well.”

Angwa added that Sawa Minerals is committed to inspiring an ecosystem that will shape the future of ethical mining, one that is free of child labour, where the ASM community will work in safe conditions and earn life-sustaining income.

Sawa Minerals also said it will play an active role in guiding the miners to become compliant with their countries’ regulations. The tech-driven startup also affirms that its platform will enhance the abilities of African governments to improve their earnings from the mineral deposits available in their countries and bolster their GDP.

The company’s name is inspired by the Swahili word, ‘Sawa’, which means ‘fine’, ‘all good’ or ‘no worries’. Angwa said they chose the name because it captures the purpose of the platform. He noted that the platform is a place where stakeholders will not be worried about fraud; buyers will be assured of ethically-mined, genuine minerals; and miners will be assured of decent pay. The activities on the platform will be guided by the principles of fair treatment of the planet, sustainability, conflict-free mining, fair pay and protection of human life, according to Sawa Mineral.

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