The artisan industry is the second largest employment in the developing world, and the worldwide handicrafts market is predicted to reach $984.8 billion by 2023, according to NEST’s State of the Handworker Economy Report. So, why do so many craftspeople throughout the world, particularly in developing countries, live in poverty?
To answer that question, I invited Eric Osuorah, founder of AFOMA to talk about the challenges of international trade for artisans and small craft businesses in emerging markets on the Emerging Markets Today podcast.
He told me that these craftsmen and artists want to sell outside of their native countries, but the existing cross-border payment methods (PayPal and bank transfers) are prohibitively expensive, slow, and impractical for small businesses in emerging markets. Also, Eric told me about the difficulties in educating about crypto technology and its benefits, but he already has a strategy in place.
Eric also told me about his vision for AFOMA:
“Our vision at AFOMA is to tap into the enormous market potential of the artisan sector which can lead to a positive outcome to drive economic and community development and preserve cultural heritage in the developing world through incentivization. Through AFOMA, we plan to offer a fairer economic and design architecture for this sector that achieves a better and futuristic alignment of compensation and value creation, particularly for those with the least economic resources (marginalized artisans and artists).
AFOMA is designed and given features to drive a social impact ecosystem that includes e-commerce marketplaces that will monetize rewards programs which add value to individuals from low income countries. This ecosystem will include an non-fungible toke (NFT) marketplace that will allow the tokenization of unique digital art from developing nations. A Metaverse designed and built to allow individuals experience and explore the creativity of artisans and artists. This Metaverse will promote the rich culture and heritage.”
You can listen to our conversation in full here
Main photo: Women of Ushafa pottery village (Nigeria) – Ayodeji Ogunro, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons