By Mark Kawalya
Near Foundation, a Swiss non-profit organisation, has entered into a partnership with local blockchain community Sankore to set up a regional hub in Kenya that will be the nucleus of blockchain innovation, talent development, and education on the African continent.
Kenya took the fifth position in last year’s Global Crypto Adoption Index, and statistics show that Kenyans trade cryptocurrencies among themselves at a rate that is higher than it is elsewhere in the world.
Aside from expanding its activities in Nairobi, NEAR is also reaching out to other cities in Kenya that have not had a blockchain presence established as yet.
The regional hub will be steered by Kevin Imani, the founder of Sankore and will have a core support team of four members. The hub will be made up of events, an incubation program, and an academy. The hub will act as a meeting point for some of Africa’s most skilled blockchain developers and provide international backing for their innovations.
“We are thrilled to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented individuals to become world-class blockchain developers,” said 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.”
The large attendance rates of Sankore NEAR-Meets at which locals gather to get blockchain education and establish networks in the NEAR ecosystem, have shown the enthusiasm that younger Kenyans have towards blockchain, crypto and web3 education.
The Sankore NEAR-Meets have enabled people to learn, network, share ideas, and establish opportunities on the open web. The focus of a recent event that was held at Nakuru focused on capturing opportunities in Web3 with guidance from a NEAR-Certified Developer, giving oversight to local developers on getting blockchain and NEAR Developer Certification.
Additionally, the hubs’ educational division had established strong connections with local universities, with 77 students signed up for the NEAR Certified Developer Workshops. Seven are registered for the NEAR Certified Analysts workshops, while six students have already been certified as developers.