How Informal Savings & Block Chain Can Power Economic Development, by SAS Prof Sagna

How Informal Savings & Block Chain Can Power Economic Development, by SAS Prof Sagna

A professor in the Politics & International Studies department, Dr. Mahammadou Lamine Sagna, has explained how “Susu” [rotating savings and loan scheme prevalent in the informal African sector] can facilitate development if properly harnessed with current-day information technology.

The former professor at Princeton University in the US was the lead speaker at the second seminar of the AUN Center for Governance, Development and Human Rights (GDHR) entitled 'The circulation of money, debt, and payment in African culture'. 

He explored how “Susu”can help in micro-financing and circular economy. He also showed how knowledge of the structural elements of “Susu” could use Blockchain technologies.

Professor Lamine Sagna said it is possible to have an alignment between Susu and Block Chains since both concepts share the same characteristics, adding that “Susu” relates to the personal and social beings of the individual, a part of the chain of solidarity mechanisms.

"As a source of the link and network money integrates the individual into the group."

He said that the symbolism of money that creates a social link like a chain is fundamental to understanding financial practices, and if this is well understood, it can help in Blockchain financing which can help to develop a large amount of capital for more investment.

"The Susu is a form of organization which brings social added value to economic crises, and economic added value to social crises, or if you prefer an economic response to a social crisis and a social response to an economic crisis."

Membership in “Susu” is an indicator of group confidence in the individual, and vice versa. Confidence is security. The “Susu” is based on an emotional relationship of trust that can manifest itself in the form of debt or a request for self-donation for the group.

To belong to a Susu, confidence is paramount as success is also achieved because Susu is based on an emotional relationship of trust.

"Thus, at the foundation of the monetary and financial practices of Africans, there are social, ethical, cultural, anthropological logic. And through the Susu, individuals in a community espouse and displace symbolic values."

Professor Sagna said the work is based on intuition, which is why he says he is taking a risk, trying to identify the conditions of the possibility for the establishment and development of Block Chains in Africa ultimately. 

"Understanding these factors will make it possible to mobilize, guide, and develop the savings of populations through the Block Chains. To do this, it is necessary to analyze how technologies set in motion in differentiated cultural universes."

The respondent, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, Dr. Last Moyo, said the presentation was very philosophical. "…yet coherent, cohesive, and indeed impressive."

Assistant Professor in the School of Law, Dr. Jennifer Mike, said she gained some insights and ideas on areas she would like to research.

Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa