Nigeria marked with a flag on the map

Nigeria will no longer recognize university degrees from Kenya, Uganda—blockchain is the solution

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Nigeria has added Kenya and Uganda to the list of red-flagged foreign universities that it says have been handing fake degrees. The Nigerian government says that students from these countries will no longer be accredited.

Education minister Tahir Mamman announced that the federal government would add the two East African countries to a list that includes its neighbors Togo and Benin.

“We are not just going to stop at Togo and Benin; we are going to extend the dragnet to countries like Uganda and Kenya where such (fraudulent) institutions have been set up,” he said in an interview with a local media outlet.

“They don’t really have physical sites; they are just very clandestine in their operations. But we need to protect our employers and the integrity of our qualifications.”

It all blew up when Umar Audu, a reporter for the Daily Nigerian newspaper, published an exposé revealing how he had obtained a four-year degree from a Benin university in six weeks.

While some have criticized the move, saying it will punish legitimate degree holders, the minister said he has “little sympathy” for the affected students, some of whom “are part of the problem.”

While the ban is new, the challenge isn’t. Fake certificates have been a scourge in Africa for decades. With the proliferation of private universities across the region to cater to a rapidly expanding population, loopholes have emerged. According to reports, for around $1,000, students can purchase forged university credentials in Kenya, and it’s even cheaper in smaller economies.

Audu, the reporter who exposed the fake degree ring, only used 600,000 naira ($660) to obtain the counterfeit credentials from the Ecole Supérieure de Gestion et de Technologies University in Benin.

Blockchain is the solution, says Dr. Catherine Lephoto, the executive director for global partnerships at VX Technologies. The company develops solutions for blockchain record-keeping and verification.

VX Technologies’ latest product, AlphaDAPP, offers the simplest method to integrate the BSV blockchain into education systems. Users, such as universities, can store the students’ credentials on the blockchain, and anyone can verify them by simply scanning a QR code.

Integrating AlphaDAPP can “bring a lot of efficiency, cutting out the entire process of verification, which takes a long time and is quite costly,” Lephoto told CoinGeek Conversations in a previous interview.

Watch AlphaDAPP: Revolutionizing blockchain adoption in Africa

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