M-Pesa payment in Kenya by mobile phone. Community currency payment based on blockchain technology ensures transparency.
Photo: Jörg Böthling

02.09.2019

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Migration from Africa to Europe is unlikely to slow down, unless major driving forces are taken into account. Our authors address insufficient economic growth in rural Africa as a primary cause and introduce an innovative concept to stimulate endogenous growth in targeted communities. Developed in cooperation with interested traditional authorities in rural Cameroon, the concept combines cultural, social and economic aspects.

Insufficient economic growth in countries of origin is considered as one of the primary causes of migration from Africa to Europe. Even though it has been addressed with much effort for seven decades, especially rural areas in many African countries lag behind growth expectations, resulting in rural to urban and international migration. Instead of focusing solely on economic elements, we propose a concept which combines cultural, social and economic aspects. We focus on four core challenges:

  • Rural areas are subject to seasonal fluctuations, with limited liquidity during some seasons.
  • Rural areas generally lack funds since central government allocates little and local authorities lack communal income.
  • Community driven development (CDD) committees undermine traditional authorities.
  • Lack of transparency enables elite capture of funds and decreases trust in government.

We propose a solution with four components to address these challenges at community level. Bringing together traditional structures and cutting-edge technology, it promises to reduce poverty and strengthen social capital, and may be scaled up to a world-wide level.

A community currency to create additional liquidity

In rural areas, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, income fluctuates seasonally.

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