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Swiss NGO Commences Blockchain Innovation Hub in Kenya

NEAR, a Swiss non-profit organisation has announced its partnership with Sankore, a local blockchain community, to build a regional centre in Kenya devoted to blockchain innovation, education, and talent development in Africa.

The hub will consist of four different components: the Sankore Bounty ecosystem, an incubation programme, an academy, and events. It will be a promising convergence of Africa’s most gifted blockchain engineers with global backing for their discoveries.

Role of NEAR in Kenya

Kevin Imani, who will oversee the NEAR centre in Kenya, stated the importance of the partnership and its potential to bring to the innovation world. The partnership will focus on the grooming of unique individuals in the country to raise world-class blockchain engineers.

“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 scalability, security, and transparency custom solutions. This hub is the next step in turning our shared vision into reality.”

Fast Crypto Acceptance

In the Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2021, Kenya scored fifth according to the ranking. This ranking showcases the high rate of crypto adoption among Kenyans; they trade cryptocurrencies directly with each other more than anywhere else in the world.

In addition to spreading throughout Nairobi, NEAR is establishing a footprint in lesser-known locations in Kenya where no other Layer 1 blockchain has yet to develop a foothold. The education arm of the hub has already established strong partnerships with regional colleges. For the NEAR Certified Developer Workshops, 77 participants are already enrolled. In addition,

seven students registered for the NEAR Certified Analysts Workshops and six students are already certified as developers.

Sankore has put forward a good number of innovative projects to solve local issues in the community. A highlight of such innovative projects includes Kilimo Sankore, a blockchain-based innovation to protect farmers from agricultural risks like recent locust invasions or bad weather.

The Kilimo Sankore project is based on smart contracts that automatically collect uncertainty data and compensate farmers. The continent has seen a rapid digital revolution in the past decade. As a result, African nations have adopted cryptocurrencies faster than their worldwide counterparts. From July 2020 to June 2021, cryptocurrency use in Africa rose 1,200%, the fastest rate globally.

The CEO of the NEAR Foundation, Marieke Flament, stated that the foundation is intrigued by the potential avenues for blockchain solutions throughout Africa, which stem from innovation in education, development, and talent.”

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