Blockchain can repair the continent’s broken and fragmented supply chains, says Africa’s blockchain baron, Shadrack Kubyane
Shadrack Kubyane has been dubbed “Africa’s Blockchain Baron”. He successfully grew a small, USD500 business selling hair extensions into a USD2 million enterprise in just three years; but this humble, genial South African businessman describes himself as a villager at heart.
Kubyane is the co-founder of Coronet Blockchain, a blockchain consultancy and business-to-business-to-consumer marketplace that is currently using blockchain to transform Africa’s USD7 billion hair extensions sector. He believes blockchain’s capabilities can be leveraged to repair the continent’s broken and fragmented supply chains. Kubyane will share his vision and insights with African supply chain professionals at the upcoming 2022 SAPICS Conference.
Now in its 44th successful year, the annual SAPICS Conference is Africa’s leading knowledge sharing and networking event for supply chain professionals. Hosted by SAPICS - The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management - it takes place from 12 to 15 June 2022 at Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.
Kubyane says that he started honing his business acumen when he was 11. “When my mom started multiple businesses, she asked me to manage and grow them.”
He co-founded Coronet Blockchain in 2019. While the company’s roots are in the multi-billion-dollar African hair extensions business, Kubyane wants to use blockchain to strengthen other African supply chains and build Africa’s economies, companies, and communities. “We provide blockchain vetted human hair extensions, haircare products and salon equipment to African salons, distributors and retailers,” he explains. The company prides itself on working with ethical global manufacturers and achieving lower sourcing costs – thanks to blockchain’s capabilities. “We securely track human hair pieces from source to customer. We understand that 100% human hair requires 100% secure tracking,” he states.
Looking ahead, he plans to add impetus to the business’s consulting services, whereby Coronet Blockchain assists organisations and governments with their blockchain journeys. He also intends to focus on opportunities to leverage blockchain across beauty, fashion and food supply chains, for social good and to improve and advance Africa’s supply chains.
“Ethical sourcing has been preached for too long. We hold the digital know-how in our hands, to make it possible, so we must do it now. Blockchain is creating a level playing ground for all players in African trade, especially small, medium and micro enterprises. For me, blockchain is more about people and communities than it is about technology. The tech functions simply enable the attainment of shared community values. I am for communities. I am for Africa. Perhaps that is why some people call me the Blockchain Baron of Africa,” Kubyane says.
He notes that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement envisions adding USD450 billion to Africa’s inter-trade. “Historically, however, the majority of our continent’s supply chains are built in favour of exporting value away from Africa, not inwards for inter-trade. Most of Africa is built around extraction not synergy, and as a result, the continent is now faced with an infrastructure deficit across the
supply chain. It is a lot easier to move things from China and Europe into Africa than it is to move things within Africa, and we need to repair that.,” he stresses.
In his SAPICS Conference presentation, Kubyane will share practical ways to leapfrog these trade gaps, “to deliver advantages for Africa’s economies, companies, and communities”.
“In this presentation, we will examine three supply chains that are aligned to benefit promptly from blockchain implementation. By mid-June, when the SAPICS Conference takes place, we will be 654 Saturdays away from Africa’s population exceeding 2 billion, on 1 January 2035. This makes the futureproofing of Africa’s supply chains mission critical,” Kubyane concludes.