NEAR Foundation, the Swiss non-profit that oversees the governance and development of the NEAR protocol, has partnered with the local Kenyan blockchain community, Sankore, to launch a regional hub.
The hub will be dedicated to ongoing blockchain innovation, education and talent development throughout the African continent.
Kevin Imani, founder of Sankore, will lead the hub, which will be comprised of events, an academy, an incubation program, and the Sankore Bounty ecosystem. Outside of Nairobi, NEAR will also be working in lesser-known cities in Kenya where no other Layer 1 blockchain has an established presence as yet.
Imani commented: “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.”
The education wing of the project has already made connections with local universities and has registered students on workshops, and six students have already become officially certified developers.
Sankore has previously gained local traction by supporting projects like Kilimo Shwari, an on-chain solution seeking to hedge Kenyan farmers against agricultural uncertainties such as bad weather and other calamities. The insurance is based on smart contracts, gathering data on uncertainties and automatically compensating farmers.
“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.
“This hub represents a unique opportunity to partner with local talent not only for the opportunities that we know exist today but also for the opportunities yet to be created in the future."