Dunia and Mento Labs: Bringing DeFi to Central and Western Africa.jpeg

Dunia and Mento Labs: Bringing DeFi to Central and Western Africa

December 4th, 2023Victoria Calmon

In the DeFi landscape, Dunia has strategically positioned itself with a specific focus on Central and Western Africa. Dunia aims to facilitate access to essential financial services, including remittances, savings, lending, and everyday payments across the region. To reach this objective, Dunia introduced eXOF, a decentralized Mento stablecoin built on the Celo blockchain. As a unifying economic link within the region, eXOF tracks the value of the CFA Franc, a currency shared by 14 African states that are divided into two currency zones (XAF in Central Africa and XOF in West Africa).

Dunia's Mission

With a clear goal in mind, Dunia aims to revolutionize financial accessibility and inclusivity for users in Central and Western Africa, by harnessing the potential of blockchain technology. The creation of the Mento eXOF stablecoin reflects Dunia's commitment to providing efficient financial services in the targeted regions and lays the foundation for new innovative use cases.

Why Mento Labs?

Dunia decided to collaborate with Mento Labs as a result of Mento Labs’ expertise in token economics, software engineering, and Web3 product design. Mento Labs assisted Dunia from the inception of the project, to the smooth, transparent, and decentralized launch of the eXOF asset on the Mento platform.

Serge Kiema, Founder and CEO at Dunia said: "Dunia is pleased to collaborate with Mento Labs to bring the benefits of DeFi to users across Central and West Africa. Mento Labs' commitment to financial inclusion and expertise in creating a reliable and secure stablecoin align perfectly with Dunia's vision for the future of finance for African users.”

Oleksiy Novykov, Head of Product at Mento Labs, added, “Together with Dunia, we aim to establish a stable and inclusive financial ecosystem, providing a seamless, transparent, and trustworthy local digital currency user experience for various real-world use cases such as remittances, savings, lending, and payments.”

Dunia’s Solutions

Dunia’s project centers around eXOF, a Mento stablecoin built on the Celo blockchain, designed to meet the financial needs of users in Central and Western Africa. This versatile token powers payments, remittances, savings, lending, borrowing and everyday transactions within the region's economy.

How Mento Stablecoins are Utilized

The Mento platform enables the minting of eXOF using the Celo blockchain and facilitates its acquisition on decentralized exchanges using a variety of assets. Additionally, eXOF can be seamlessly exchanged for cEUR (Celo Euro) / cUSD (Celo Dollar), providing users with increased liquidity options within the ecosystem.

Dunia’s introduction of the Mento eXOF stablecoin in West Africa brings many advantages to local users. First, by addressing the issue of high volatility inherent in cryptocurrencies, eXOF can offer a reliable and predictable medium of exchange for users and businesses. Additionally, eXOF can contribute to financial inclusion in a region where many users lack access to traditional banking services. The digital nature of eXOF stablecoins, easily accessible by users through their mobile phones, helps bridge the financial gap for the unbanked or underbanked population. Moreover, the use of eXOF stablecoins for remittance transactions presents a faster and more cost-effective alternative to traditional remittance services. Furthermore, in the face of currency instability experienced by some Central and West African nations due to factors like inflation and economic uncertainty, local stablecoins like eXOF emerge as a solution for users, businesses, and investors alike. For instance, microloan platforms could enable users to get a loan in local digital currency, in eXOF, and use it to build out their business.

Measurable Benefits of Dunia’s Solution

The DuniaPay network features more than 25,000 merchants, as well as 10 banks and microfinance institutions across Francophone Africa. The decentralized cash network, powered by the Mento eXOF stablecoin, offers significant benefits, playing a pivotal role in nurturing economic stability, financial inclusion, and sustainable development. For example, local stable currencies such as eXOF can serve as instruments for the promotion of local industries, significantly contributing to domestic growth and employment opportunities. In addition, the adoption of a local currency aids in facilitating financial inclusion, providing a familiar and accessible medium of exchange for all users.

Next Steps for Dunia and Mento Labs

Looking ahead, Dunia and Mento Labs are committed to expanding the use cases for eXOF by onboarding diverse participants and local merchants, as well as on/off-ramp providers for eXOF.

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