This report is quite different from the previous reports in that it's one that aims to welcome you into the second phase of Kwanda. It's quite a read, but also an important breakdown of where Kwanda has been and where Kwanda is going next.
First, some context.
Over the last few years, I've grown passionate and at times anxious about the amount of capital, and human resource at work on the unique problems facing Sub-Saharan Africa and it's global diaspora.
My guess is there's not nearly enough capital or human resource focused on these problems, and so I created Kwanda as a way to direct more capital and resource towards the solving of these problems. Access to quality healthcare, economic marginalisation, job creation and countless others.
I knew Kwanda was to play a meaningful role, but I wasn't clear on what that role would be, so we launched with a broad focus and a goal to learn quickly. The idea was to try a lot of things, gather data, listen for feedback and ultimately narrow down the focus to something that works and is scalable.
Whilst this broad focus was useful in phase one, it's not sustainable, and ultimately we must chart a course in order to build a team, organisation and village around a more focused strategy and set of goals.
I've spent the last two months pouring over the data, talking to villagers, talking to advisors and thinking (incessantly) about what Kwanda needs to look like in phase two. I've had to cross out large parts of our current system in order to land on something clear, focused and scalable.
I'm personally very energised and excited about where we've landed, and I'll be walking you through our strategic focuses in this report, but before I do that, I want to close the book on phase one and share some of our highlights as a village.
Here are some of the noteworthy things we achieved in phase one:
Created a free 6-week digital group-therapy course for Black people.
Provided 181 homes in rural areas across Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin food relief.
Raised and distributed £25,000 in grants to Black and at-risk key-workers in the UK, in collaboration with BYP.
Provided 20 families in the UK with laptops, in collaboration with Afrotech.
Paid for and gave scholarships to 5 design students.
Invested in communities
Available village capital
Village monthly income
... and now I'll break down our strategy and focuses for phase two, starting with the most significant change to our social investment strategy.
We're going begin with a regional focus in: Sub-Saharan Africa
This decision was made for a variety of reasons:
The sheer amount of lives we can impact, and opportunity we can generate in the region.
We'll be at the feet of some of the biggest problems facing the globe over the coming century.
We've managed to develop a strong network of partners and volunteers in West Africa that will allow us to hit the ground running.
We'll be well versed in the African market when it comes time to kickstart our economic investment arm in phase three.
We're going to focus our social investments on the following areas:
Access to quality healthcare, community care, mental health, etc.
School resourcing, online education, community schooling, etc.
Clean water, technology, renewable energy, community hubs etc.
Youth unemployment, training, global job market insertion, etc.
Poverty relief, food scarcity, community security, etc.
Our core functions
... and finally, these are the three core functions we'll execute as a village.
Providing funding to grassroots organisations, groups or individuals doing community development work.
Uganda Code has requested funding for their women's coding program.
Investing in tangible infrastructure which leads to sustainable improvements in communities.
Clean water tap in Kpalimé, Togo.
est. 4 month completion
There are some sweeping changes that I'm sure will resonate with some villagers more than others, but before I close on this report, I should address the elephant in the room: Our move away from the UK as a starting point.
This decision was difficult to make as many of our villagers joined because of the work we are doing for our communities in the UK. It’s taken deep thought to arrive here, and I’ll share the reasons:
In carrying out our work in West Africa, I had the chance to learn about the issues faced by marginalised populations. I spoke to people who had been left to fend for themselves with no support whatsoever, unable to make a living. I discovered brilliant graduates who had little hope of gaining employment in their studied fields, or any field for that matter. I met with entrepreneurs who walked me through the unique and time-sensitive challenges facing the continent.
This forced me to think deeply about how we can create tangible impact, and not find ourselves unprepared, and staring helplessly at some of the most critical issues that will face our communities.
I can’t seem to move past the idea that If we want to fix our problems, we have to start where they are most critical, and this is a core reason the decision was made to begin with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and expand outwards.
Below I’ve put together FAQs that might help in answering any questions you have. As a villager, you have direct access to me, so feel free to get in touch via email, or message me on slack.
Changes won’t happen right away. We’ll slowly wind down on our programmes and conclude any work that falls outside of our core operational focus by the end of the year.
The next step is to communicate these changes throughout our platform and resume funding and projects in our respective focal areas as soon as possible.
What's my role as a villager?
At a minimum, your role as a villager is to maintain the integrity of Kwanda's democratic voting system by voting on proposals. We're working on a handbook that will outline other ways for villagers to contribute to the building of Kwanda.
Will you invest in communities outside of Africa?
Eventually, once we reach significant milestones in monthly village income, e.g. every £50,000, we'll begin re-entering regions in the following order: Europe, North America, The Caribbean, South America.
Does Kwanda still work the same way?
Yes. Our system still operates with our foundational pillars of transparency, democracy and community. Social investments will still require a village vote, finances will remain transparent, and we'll continue building our online community organically.
I like this direction. How can I help?
We're working on a villager handbook that will detail the different levels, and ways in which you can involve yourself in the building of Kwanda. This will be available on your villager dashboard once it's completed.
For now, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.