Alumni Stories: Emile Destin Ibara Doniama, A Blockchain Expert & Global Innovator looking to broaden up on Central Bank Digital Currency

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Mr. Emile Doniama has more than 3 years of experience in blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analysis and project management. Currently, Mr Doniama is a Blockchain, AI and IoT Advisor at the Rainforest Defense Foundation (RDF) and a Country Director at Global Peace Chain. He is also a fellow of the McKinsey & Company Africa Forward Program, a Trust conference Changemaker ofThomson Reuters Foundation, a chapter leader of the RC’s Government Blockchain Association and the author of three books on blockchain. Previously he worked as a Software Engineer at ILOGS (Oil & Gas), HRIS Supervisor at Equateur Telecom Congo (Telecommunications), IT consultant at Gad SSI (Technology).

As a Global Innovator, Mr Doniama is contributing to tackle plastic pollution through the Global Plastic Innovation Network launched by Uplink, Global Plastic Action Partnership and the World Economic Forum. Rainforest Defense Foundation RDF is deploying blockchain technology to combat deforestation and wild animal trade, and protect untouched rainforest regions. The Non-Fungible Token (NFT), will identify each Life Class Area, resource (tree, vegetation, land area, animal) and track them. 

The CBDC courses provided by CFTE aligns with my goal to become a tech policy advocate seeking to pave the path of policy-to-action that ensures emerging markets are not bypassed in the adoption of emerging technologies in Africa.

Emile Doniama, Blockchain Advisor at Rainforest Defense Foundation

CFTE: Why did you choose CFTE?

Emile: Top finance professionals from the best institutions in the world come together at CFTE to learn, grow and transform the industry. Since my interest varies from data science, artificial intelligence, internet of things, blockchain, Fintech, big data, Machine learning, Natural Language Processing, and Software Engineering, I feel the CFTE course is best suited for me. CFTE strives to help new-age professionals like me to reimagine the role of technology through education, so they are equipped to reinvent finance 2.0.

CFTE: What was your main motivation for learning about CBDCs?

Emile: The inevitability of digital currencies is a fact supported by the historical evolution of money from cowries of the stone age to today’s paper money. Obviously, the digital age needs money that embodies the characteristics of this era. While private digital currencies like bitcoin and Ether appear to be gaining prominence, Central Banks worldwide are considering a countermeasure through a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Apparently, the Battle of the Coins is imminent.

However, with the exception of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Ghana, little CBDC-related activities are seen in Africa. I am interested in tech policy advocacy seeking to pave the path of policy-to-action that ensures emerging markets are not outmaneuvered in the adoption of emerging technologies. 

CFTE: As somebody with a strong background in blockchain, what was your learning experience like? Any main takeaways you took away from the CBDC courses?

Emile: Dr Oriol Caudevilla who is the Fintech expert on CBDC’s courses at CFTE, is a brilliant researcher in the areas of Digital currencies, blockchain, CBDC and Digital financial inclusion. He is also my mentor on LinkedIn as he is diligent, focused and strategic. His session on CBDCs was very well received and I am up-to-date with these hottest topics in technology and payment. 

CFTE: Thank you for your time! Finally, if you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Emile: Visionary, Open minded, Persistent

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