Raise, a Bahamian and Kenyan technology company, has announced a partnership with Kenyan corporate law firm ALN Kenya Anjarwalla & Khanna (A&K) to create what it believes to be the continent’s first security token framework.

Security tokens, sometimes called a ‘tokenised asset’ is a digital asset that represents ownership in a real-world asset, such as real estate, shares, debt, commodities, fine art and insurance. They are built in a secure and distributed database bringing benefits of cybersecurity, automated compliance, tracking and transferability to traditional assets.

Raise’s platform targets the private capital markets industry and recently announced the security token asset in partnership with iHub.

A demo of Raise’s platform was announced at the ALN Africa Investment Conference, 2018 in Dubai and the announcement on the partnership between Raise and A&K was made at the Business for Africa Forum in Cairo, Egypt, attended by the heads of states of Rwanda, Togo, Niger, Zimbabwe and Egypt, together with the CEO of COMESA.

Raise CEO and co-founder, Marvin Coleby, announced the partnership at the event where he spoke about the potential for distributed ledgers and blockchain technologies.

Coleby, a securities lawyer and an authority in digital asset regulation, emphasises the need for a clear regulatory approach for blockchain technologies on the continent and its use particularly in relation to capital markets infrastructure.

“Blockchain technologies suffer from a clear lack of regulation around the world. There is a need for efforts at self- regulation to create frameworks that educate law firms, policymakers and entrepreneurs,” he says. “We’re particularly excited about this partnership with A&K and their ability to leverage ALN’s network of law firms in 16 countries across the continent as it allows us to work with the best lawyers, entrepreneurs and law firms to create strong regulatory frameworks for blockchain-enabled capital markets across numerous jurisdictions.

“Clear frameworks for digital securities can unleash innovation in the security token space and enable SME financing and liquidity for private markets on an unprecedented scale.”

Raise and A&K aim to create and share the framework through the recently launched African Digital Asset Framework, an open source platform created to facilitate the development of the legal and technological standards for blockchain technologies that enable pan-African trade. ADAF is the first open-source software platform to create transnational standards for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies in line with pan-African development objectives, and complements the African Union’s Single African Digital Market initiative, which seeks to leverage technology to stimulate digitised pan-African economic integration. The Framework project is supported by ambassadors from the African Union and African Development Bank. Raise is a founding member of the framework.

Says A&K partner Dominic Rebelo: “Our partnership with Raise aligns perfectly with our vision for the future of capital raising and securities trading across Africa and demonstrates A&K and ALN’s commitment to provide our clients with a seamless service across the continent.”