BY Fast Company 5 MINUTE READ

In 2014, Cameroonian businessman Mamadou Kwidjim Toure was named one of the top 10 Most Influential Men in Africa by Forbes Magazine. Now, a decade later, his impact is arguably even greater, for he has developed a way to put some of the continent’s vast underground mineral wealth into its people’s pockets.

The social entrepreneur, who turns 49 this year, was born in the Atlantic coastal city of Douala. Toure completed his education in Europe, graduating with a Masters of Science in Finance. He speaks six languages—English, French, German, Spanish and two African languages—and lists among his interests philosophy, music, history and art. As a World Economic Forum-designated Global Young Leader, he completed two education programmes at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2018, and two years later followed this up with a programme on artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He is also the founder and chief executive of the Ubuntu Capital Group, which he established in 2015. The group provides a range of business services, including providing strategic advice on matters involving mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, capital raising, restructuring and risk management, among others.

In 2014, this African entrepreneur founded Ubuntu Tribe—a subsidiary of the Ubuntu Capital Group—whose primary goal is to help the continent leverage its natural resources to create sharedprosperity.

This taps into the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which stresses people’s interdependence. The word Ubuntu is sometimes translated as meaning, “I am because we are”. Toure seeks to harness this by offering financial freedom through secure and regulated investment in gold.

He believes gold-backed assets will offer returns to buyers as the commodity appreciates, and that by offering an easily-accessible platform to digitally purchase gold, he is democratising access to

Africa’s vast but largely “hijacked” mineral wealth. He disagrees with the view by some who say “Africa is poor”. Toure is aware that the largest known deposits of gold are in Africa—according to the United Nations, the continent is home to an estimated 40 percent of the world’s gold reserves, worth many trillions of dollars—and in the light of this vast wealth, he asks a question that is key to understanding his business: What if we trade these mineral resources as a currency?

In this regard, Ubuntu Tribe has created a 100 percent gold-backed digital coin called Gold International Fungible Token (GIFT). It offers the opportunity to build real savings and preserve purchasing power in a context of depreciating local currencies, which are fast eroding the savings of working-class people, as well as companies’ treasuries.

Through Utribe Wallet, an app developed by the company and easily accessed via a mobile phone, users can convert currency into gold in the form of GIFT. The fungible token is a digital certificate ofgold ownership, backed with physical gold and pegged to the international spot price of the metal. The gold is audited, insured and securely stored in reputable and regulated world class vaults across Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Switzerland.

Through Ubuntu Tribe, Toure is tokenizing gold to democratise access to wealth creation via mobile phones. This Ubuntu model allows people to not just use gold as a savings instrument, but also as an investment to be able to trade and preserve against currency depreciation. Through it, he is giving Africans—and people around the world—access to more sophisticated wealth-creation tools and appreciating assets, which historically have been barely accessible to those on a lower income.

During a recent launch of the Utribe Wallet in Lagos, Nigeria and in Nairobi, Kenya, Toure had the following to say about his vision: “As we bring our innovative platform to these vibrant African cities, we look forward to engaging with the local communities, forging partnerships, and showcasing the transformative potential of regenerative finance. Ubuntu Tribe is not just an event; it’s a movement toward shared prosperity, financial inclusion and a sustainable economic future.”

It’s clear to see that he has created a business that goes beyond just issuing finance. Instead, he has established an entity that provides alternative opportunities. In making this possible, he has brought together two different economic enablers: One is gold; the other is digital finance. He has created a digital token that is backed by gold, making his business one of the few that have managed to merge the physical and digital in the finance world. At the same time, he has enabled people to derive value from minerals without extracting them. Through Ubuntu Tribe, he has given people the ability to own pieces of gold without negatively impacting the environment.

In this regard, Ubuntu Tribe says it is committed to environmental and

social responsibility. One example of this is its adoption of technology that encourages miners to extract gold without using mercury.

According to Toure, in a recent interview: “The idea is that these miners have better health, a better environment, where they can benefit more from gold.” Using blockchain technology also allows for tracking the source of the gold at any stage of the supply chain, ensuring transparency and accountability.

One big advantage the company holds is it’s a forerunner; Toure is well aware of this.

“Indeed, at a time when digital assets were highly unpopular, or even scorned by the finance industry, Ubuntu Tribe was already championing real world assets tokenization.

“Beyond playing the role as industry pioneer… we have already achieved… tokenizing gold and proposed fractionalised ownership of gold-backed tokens in the form of a digital ownership certificate of gold, available from as low as six cents (US),” he says.

With this first-mover advantage comes unique expertise and robust experience, positioning Ubuntu Tribe ahead of most players who are only now entering the market.


The token Toure has developed can be used globally for cross-border and international trade. The solution developed by Ubuntu Tribe is helping solve the challenge of the 70 percent of Africans who are without a bank account. Their inability to trade globally due to the status of their currencies is solved by technology tools (app and web) that connect them with a borderless economy.

Compared to fiat currencies, whose values fluctuate according to imports and exports, the token developed by Ubuntu Tiribe is gold-backed, which means it is especially stable, allowing its users to avoid the volatility associated with dollar-to-local-currency transactions.

This feature of the token will be useful and, among other things, could help the African ContinentalFree Trade Area (AfCFTA)—the largest free trade area in the world, connecting 1.3 billion people across 55 countries—reach its full potential.

Through the development of this technological tool, Toure is contributing towards a more just transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution—not only for a few in the West, but for the whole global community.