Nairobi — A Swiss non-profit,NEAR, has announced a partnership with local blockchain community, Sankore to launch a regional hub in Kenya dedicated to blockchain innovation, education, and talent development in Africa.
Comprised of events, an academy, an incubation program, and the Sankore Bounty ecosystem, the hub will be a promising intersection of Africa’s most talented blockchain developers and international support for their innovations.
“We are thrilled to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented individuals to become world-class blockchain developers,” said Kevin Imani, who will lead the NEAR hub in Kenya.
“Our dream is to lead the way in blockchain innovations in providing solutions to Africa’s biggest problems. The NEAR Protocol allows tomorrow’s brightest developers to build custom solutions with scalability, security, and transparency and this hub is the next step in turning our shared vision into reality.”
Kenya ranked fifth in last year’s Global Crypto Adoption Index, and Kenyans are already directly trading cryptocurrencies with each other more than elsewhere in the world.
Besides expanding throughout Nairobi, NEAR is also reaching lesser-known cities in Kenya where no other Layer 1 blockchain has an established presence as yet.
The education arm of the hub has already made strong connections with local universities, with 77 registered students in the NEAR Certified Developer Workshops, seven students registered to the NEAR Certified Analysts Workshops, and six students already officially certified as developers.
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As for incubated projects, Sankore has previously gained local traction by supporting several forward-thinking projects such as Kilimo Shwari, an on-chain solution seeking to hedge Kenyan farmers against agricultural uncertainties such as bad weather and calamities like the recent locust invasion in Kenya.
The insurance is based on smart contracts, gathering data on uncertainties and automatically compensating farmers.
The continent has been undergoing a rapid digital revolution over the past decade, and African countries have been adopting crypto quicker than their global counterparts.
Cryptocurrency adoption in Africa increased 1200 per cent from July 2020 to June 2021, the fastest adoption rate in the world.
“We are excited by the potential avenues throughout Africa for blockchain solutions, which come from innovation in development, education and talent,” said Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation.