Global climate change continues to challenge the world’s productivity and has already badly impacted the overall ability to maintain minimum sustainable goods production in Nigeria, as well as impacting overall food security for much of the population. Today, 100 million people in Africa face multiple crises, emergencies and catastrophic levels of food insecurity – with an increase of more than 60% between 2019 and 2020. As a result, social uplift has become a key goal for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) impact investing and global interest under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNDP).
As concerns around climate change become more prevalent, it becomes even more vital to help bridge the gap between a positive global economy and less dynamic community-bettering initiatives. Since millennials are becoming a more significant force in the Nigerian economy, tapping into the cryptocurrency market where many of these individuals are already involved may be the key to opening a new generation of economic opportunities and supporting African communities with an over $2 trillion estimated market.
MELD, an open-source and non-custodial liquidity protocol for lending and borrowing crypto and fiat currencies, operates with the mission to equalize the playing field between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ and create opportunities for the bottom 97% of the world’s population, helping these people gain control of their financial lives. To help further this mission, MELD has partnered with the African Agri-FinTech company Tingo to create low-interest microloans, which will deliver highly-efficient decentralized finance (DeFi) lending and borrowing solutions to customers throughout the region.
Tingo Mobile is connecting Africa by democratizing access to mobile, technology and ﬁnancial services. Tingo Mobile is supporting the Nigerian agricultural sector through technology.
In Nigeria, their digital platform provides market access for farmers and cooperatives to sell their produce at either wholesale or retail levels achieving the best possible market price. They currently process over 500,000 transactions a day with a value of $8 million and an average of $16 per transaction.
These transactions cover the sale of produce (grain, corn, yam, beans, cassava, etc.), settlement, brokerage, escrow and the organization of storage and logistics. The transactions are conducted with complete anonymity and all payments are sent and received from Tingo Mobile wallets providing complete oversight of the transaction.
The addition of the MELD platform will only enhance the abilities of the undocumented citizens of the rural regions to obtain loans to enable even more productivity from their crops, fields and sales efforts.
The new partnership between MELD and Tingo enables a great advancement towards both companies’ goals, as Tingo operates with almost 10 million active subscribers. As a result, the combination of MELD and Tingo services in Nigeria (and eventually, elsewhere on the continent)will be a mutually-beneficial partnership providing more economic and financial flexibility to a new market while also attracting new users to the Tingo platform.
Chris Cleverly, the president of Tingo, noted, “This new partnership is important as Africa’s largest agrifintech directed at providing services for the agricultural community and working to ensure food security across the continent, that we work with technologies such as MELD and Cardano that are looking to shift the present paradigm in favor of banking for all and inclusive finance.
“DeFi, Stable Tokens and NFTs will emancipate Africa as an economic powerhouse – we will work with regulators to ensure this is done safely, but it is clear that change is inevitable, and Nigeria is leading this change.”
A mutually beneficial partnership
Tingo and MELD have since begun working together to explore DeFi solutions that would complement Nigeria’s existing digital currency, the eNaira. Therefore, the partnership would meet the UN’s SDGs and provide greater opportunities for everyone in the region.
Both Tingo and MELD believe that a highly-efficient DeFi protocol such as MELD will provide significant value to Tingo customers, even if many of these transactions are below $100.
To achieve this, the MELD application, MELDapp, will be customized for Tingo customers on more than 9 million phones in the second-largest crypto market in the world.
The companies are currently working with a mobile OEM to preload the co-branded application on all devices operating within the Tingo ecosystem. Furthermore, this partnership will also look at the integration of lending products. Tingo allows MELD to offer DeFi services applicable to the country of distribution. MELD will provide lending and borrowing services that include the company’s self-paying and negative 1% interest loans to all the platform’s users, an endeavor made possible due to the capital efficiency of the Cardano (ADA) blockchain.
Connecting the disconnected
MELD’s partnership with Tingo is only one of the collaborations that will help the company achieve their laudatory goal to empower disenfranchised individuals with economic freedom. MELD also recently began working with World Mobile to create financial instrumentals designed to help people access the internet in places where this wasn’t previously possible. As a result, MELD continues to look to Africa as a key market, with multiple partnerships and complementing Cardano’s focus on Africa.
The company has also recently partnered with CUDOS, a decentralized cloud computing network. The main goal of that partnership is to support each others’ protocols and provide complete financial service to their customers.
With a MELDapp wallet integrated into the Cudos crypto mining infrastructure, the companies aim to simplify and fasten crypto mining. By taking on strategic partnerships such as Tingo, World Mobile and CUDOS, MELD is supporting values that include safety, community and empowerment.