Africa blockchain youth ambassadors dao (abya dao)

AFRICA BLOCKCHAIN YOUTH AMBASSADORS DAO (ABYA DAO)

abya cover

Application Type

Community DAO

Proposal overview

ABYA DAO will set up blockchain clubs in accredited universities in 6 out of the 19 Eastern Africa countries (Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Reunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Somaliland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Starting the pilot and proof of concept in Kenya, the DAO will target membership in the 62 accredited universities. Then based on the success of the project in Kenya, it will then be replicated and scaled in the rest of the region.
The project’s overarching objectives include:

a). Providing university students with the best curated knowledge and resources in the blockchain technology;

b). Equip university students with practical skills so they can immediately use what they learn by:

  • Making their careers based on the technology;
  • Becoming blockchain innovators and entrepreneurs;
  • Consuming blockchain products, including solutions developed by Harmony

c). Increasing blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption in the region

d). Developing a community of ‘foot soldiers’ who will spearhead the transition to the inevitable decentralized world and who will be either developers or adopters of blockchain technology, including dApps built on Harmony network

e). Mobilize students for collective investment opportunities like ‘staking pools’ on the Harmony network

f). Prepare the students for the future of token-driven economy

The organization will develop an online Learning Management System and give the students the opportunity to enroll in foundational courses on blockchain, whose main objective will be to increase their blockchain literacy. The initiative will help the students in developing a firm understanding of decentralization, internet of value, token economy, blockchain and incentive alignment, DeFi, Metaverse, stakeholder capitalism, sustainability, etc. One thing is clear: if there’s a technology created, it’s only a matter of time when the world is going to get ready to use it to its full potential, and the ABYA DAO is the catalyst that will make this a reality in the scale not witnessed before!

Background and context

Youths account for 60% of all of Africa’s jobless, according to the World Bank. In North Africa, the youth unemployment rate stands at 25% but is even greater in Botswana, the Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and South Africa, among others, where more than 70% of the youth are either self-employed or contributing to family work. With 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has the largest population of young people in the world. In most African countries, youth unemployment “occurs at a rate more than twice that for adults,” notes the African Development Bank.

Blockchain technologies have been finding real-world utility across Africa and the world at large over the last few years. The concept of blockchain is still getting traction daily and use-cases are still being understood as innovators and innovation ecosystems define new ways of bringing blockchain technologies into the real world. What we can be certain of is that these technologies have immense potential for addressing some fundamental challenges that Africa faces today.

There are key principles that are inherent to blockchain, such as transparency, and decentralization which on the surface, can address many of Africa’s challenges. From elections, to international remittance, as well as energy services and alternatives to banking; Africa has many developing systems that could benefit from this technology.

Cryptocurrency transactions in Africa are growing rapidly. On a continent that already embraces mobile money, virtual currency offers advantages for a young, tech-savvy population. Africa amassed $105.6bn worth of cryptocurrencies in forecasts for the year ending June 2021, driven by peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in key growth markets. Markets like Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania had some of the highest grass-roots adoptions in the world and ranked in the top 20 Global Crypto Adoption Index. Digital analytics firm Chainalysis’ latest figures show transactions volume made up of retail-sized transfers in Africa was seven per cent, against the global average of 5.5%.

Although the continent still has the smallest cryptocurrency economy compared to any region, with just $8.0 billion worth having been received and $8.1 billion sent on-chain for the year ending June 2021, that relatively small amount of activity is creating life-changing value for users in the region facing economic instability, offering low-fee remittances and an alternative way to save.

Africa is well positioned to take advantage of the blockchain boom. It has a growing generation of adaptable young professionals and would-be entrepreneurs. Plus, high unemployment in many African countries means young people are skirting traditional sectors and exploring new ways to make money.

What issue/challenge is the project intended to solve?

The blockchain is still the leading buzzword in the tech world. The technology has the potential to revolutionize many sectors including financial and banking, real estate, healthcare, logistics, and law, among many others. The ability to work in a distributed environment with a tamper-proof facility is the core source behind all these hypes.

However, any new technology will always go through a hype stage. It takes a lot of time to get rid of all the challenges and use it to power the modern world. The Blockchain is not different here. Although there are many possibilities, it will still take some time to get rid of the major challenges.

Some of the problems surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption, particularly in Africa, include: lack of adequate skillset; not so good public perception; and the varying level of financial and blockchain literacy. Finding symmetrically skilled developers in Africa is still not easy. Many people aren’t able to tackle the complexity of the network. Blockchain still lacks public acknowledgement and marketing, especially in Africa. The public should be educated on this new field so that they can develop interest to pursue it. The longer it takes the blockchain information to get to the general public, especially the younger generation, the less likely they will be to aspire to this in the first place. That means blockchain could be at risk of being extremely niche in the future, right from the universities to the outside world.

Strategy

The DAO will set up clubs at the accredited universities that will serve to grow the understanding and promoting the visibility of blockchain technology, its potential and current impact on a global and personal scale. The DAO will help the students develop valuable connections in the blockchain space while encouraging members to pursue blockchain-based interests, internships, start-ups, and careers. The DAO’s goal is to build a blockchain grassroots movement by fostering a core community of passionate university students eager to explore the use-cases of blockchain technology in tackling real challenges facing society today.

For better management of the activities at the university chapter level, the DAO will be organized into the following divisions:

  1. Financial Services & Banking
  2. Government
  3. Healthcare
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. Transportation & Supply Chain Management
  6. Insurance
  7. Environment & Climate Change

Apart from the above divisions, the organization will have a secretariat which shall be responsible for the coordination and day-to-day operations.
Facilitating the understanding of the blockchain technology will be done through the following:

  • Annual conference (with the component of national competitions) and campus meetups
  • Hackathons
  • Social online events (Facebook and YouTube)
  • Webinars and tutorials
  • Skills and competencies framework (using Learning Management System to deliver e-courses about blockchain)
  • Research that will lead to development of concept papers

Which UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) does the project primarily address?

  • Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

How will we measure the project’s economic, financial and social impact?

Success entails being able to reach 60,000+ university students (6 countries x average 10 universities per country x 1,000 students in one year) in the region in the first year through the various programs. In the long term, the DAO’s goal will not only be to incentivize as many university students as possible to develop interest in the blockchain technology, but it will also be to mobilize pooling of resources for staking on the Harmony network and increase the number of validators on the network from the region. We want to see the young people coming up with innovative solutions that are blockchain-based and can solve Africa’s real problems. A time has come for the young people of Africa, not to ask what their governments can do for them, but rather, what they can do for their motherland Africa!

Outputs

  • Organize extensive blockchain education and outreach programs, including on-campus meetups, online courses and workshops for the 10,000+ university students’ community annually in every country within Eastern Africa.
  • Have 200,000+ membership from the region registered with the DAO.
  • Hold annual conferences that includes national competitions, culminating in top 3 novel blockchain ideas winning prize money of up to USD 1,000.00 in every country in the region.
  • Collaborate with Africa Harmony DAO to hold annual blockchain hackathons for developers in every country within the region with top 3 winners taking home prize money of up to USD 1,000.00.
  • Register 10,000+ new wallets in one year in every country from the region
  • New 100,000+ page following in one year for Harmony and ABYA DAO social media channels (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter)
  • Create interest for the emergence of African validators

Outcomes

  • Increased blockchain literacy level by at least 30% among the university students (this will be measured by online surveys among the student communities which should not be expensive to conduct)
  • Thriving and vibrant Harmony ecosystems in the accredited universities within the region indicated by the number of new wallets created, engagement in the social media and attendance during Harmony organized events
  • Increased public awareness about the blockchain technology among the youth and the general public and subsequent increase of popularity of the Harmony network in Eastern Africa
  • Increased adoption and active use of cryptocurrencies and in particular, the Trust Wallet
  • Increased number of validators on the Harmony network originating from the region
  • Increased value of staked one on the Harmony network
  • Collaboration with other like-minded organizations culminating to new legal framework that is friendly to the blockchain technology in the region
  • Increased traction and interest in the blockchain technology among the public and private sectors, NGOs, research institutions and academia
  • Development of the online blockchain training modules
  • Developed and operational e-Learning Management System
  • Increased number of dApps on the Harmony network originating from the region

Who are the target beneficiaries?

The target beneficiaries are university students from Eastern Africa, who are interested in becoming a force of change in the blockchain space, starting in Kenya then scaling to other countries in the region. The students do not have to belong to any specific faculty or department, from any gender and from any year of study. The main criteria for membership will be interest and availability.

Our choice on the specific target beneficiaries is based on the following reasons:

  • University students come from every part of a country and therefore, they are a good representation of an entire population of a country
  • They are technology-savvy and therefore, can learn a new technology in the shortest time possible
  • University students are at a critical transition stage where they are graduating from the university and joining the job market or business world. Our universities have not deliberate strategies to prepare them for the new decentralized world and token-based economy.
  • After graduation, they join the job market which is already crowded – the project will train and mentor many of them to become blockchain entrepreneurs who will provide opportunities for others, instead of looking for opportunities that are hard to come by nowadays

What are the biggest challenges the project faces in the next 12 months and what are the mitigation strategies?

Project Management

A key component of the project is the monitoring and evaluation which will help the program team gain valuable insight into ongoing progress and projected future results that could impact implementation. Our project team will provide regular feedback in form of quarterly reports. Intentionally incorporating regular reviews of progress provides a space for project officers and officers managers and stakeholders to assess and reflect on project implementation and results. Some of the benefits that will accrue from regular reviews include:
a). Improve performance as new insights are gained that enable course correction and adaptation of activities from systematically collaborating with and learning from colleagues, partners, stakeholders, or activity participants.
b). Inform current and future programmatic decisions to modify or eliminate what is not working and reinforce what is working. Intentionally applying knowledge from monitoring and evaluations can show which models and approaches have the largest effect, can identify good practices, and can highlight what may not be working as planned.
c). Inform future strategic documents formation and budgetary decisions to improve office, bureau, and post operations in the future and allow future data driven decision making at all levels.
d). Test theory of change hypotheses by filling knowledge gaps and resolving uncertainties in the hypotheses with new research or syntheses of existing analyses.
e). Identify and monitor assumptions and context that may be conditions beyond our control, but could impede project or program implementation if not assessed.
f). Reduce the challenges associated with personnel turnover and transition when the capture of knowledge gained by personnel about the local context, past and present activities, and key relationships is done effectively and documented.
g). Advocate for support with increased information and knowledge about the project, or process implementation and results to defend and support resource requests.
h). Facilitate coordination, collaboration, communication, and exchange of experiential knowledge internally and with all relevant stakeholders.
i). Maintain accountability with Harmony team, validators and key stakeholders by establishing regular reviews.

The clubs

The clubs will be run as a franchise model, whereby standards will be the same across all the chapters in different universities and countries. Once contact has been established with a few students who are interested in starting the club at their university, they will be required to approach their dean of students for approval. Then the launched will be hyped with posters, advertisement in university media channels, social media, etc. During the launch, the DAO’s secretariat’s main objective will be to inspire the students to: i) mobilize their fellow students round the DAO activities; ii) take the online courses; and iii) run the club themselves on autopilot with the support from the DAO secretariat. The clubs will be organized by different divisions and the divisions will compete against each other to produce the best ideas that are implementable in a given year.

In addition to learning about blockchain and harmony network, the clubs will provide the students with the opportunity to develop leadership skills. The activities will be an exercise in research, public speaking, and teamwork. These are skills that students will need throughout their career, and the clubs will give them a chance to practice them while they are students. The students will be able to leverage courses they will undertake, the experience and networks they have developed to become blockchain entrepreneurs or find jobs.

Collaboration

We recognize that close collaborations with other initiatives will continue to be the absolute necessity for the success of this project. Also in order to avoid duplication of activities done by other initiatives, we will need to see where we can work jointly and where we could complement each other. In this regard, some of the DAOs that we will collaborate with include:

  • Harmony Africa DAO

  • Harmony Swahili DAO

  • Kenya Harmony DAO

The team

From the very start, we intend to incorporate into the DAO a philosophy of embracing ideas that transcend people, time and cultures. For example, having diversity across the different levels of the project structures is as a sure way of better decision-making and greater impact! It has been proven that diversity of whatever nature, be it gender, cultural or racial has a positive impact on an organization’s performance and growth. The team is diverse in every aspect - the young will push the boundary of innovation and technology to the limit while the mature minds will bring on board the much needed wisdom and experience, women participation will bring a family-like feel to the team which will in turn boost teamwork across the organization and help implement a new culture within the DAO.

To demonstrate diversity in action, in our ranks we have a diversified group, both as governors and members of the secretariat - blending talent and experience. We have scholars and practitioners of many years experience that will bridge theory and practice. We have best in class technocrats as well as men and women of high ethical standards that will call us to account.

We have proposed the following governors:

1. Paul McOlaka
Paul will be the main governor for the DAO. With an MSc in Financial Engineering and proficiency in R and Python, he is currently pursuing short courses on Blockchain, Haskell and Solidity Programming. He is currently a Senior Research & Executive Officer with Blockchain & Climate Institute (BCI), a progressive think tank providing leading expertise in the deployment of emerging technologies for climate and sustainability actions. BCI being an international network of scientific and technological experts, Paul has interacted and learned from the best minds and gained diverse experience, including research in emerging technologies like Blockchain and climate change issues. He brings a wealth of experience in managing university clubs, as he was the Secretary General of the Kenyatta University Model United Nations in 2007 as well as an Under Secretary in the Kenya Model United Nations the previous year. He has previous experience in banking, financial services, stock brokerage, business consulting, web applications development, writing, training and research. Paul is passionate about decentralized ledger technologies and envisions an interoperable future where different chains co-exist side-by-side and at the same time allow communication with legacy systems.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulmcolaka/

2. Eduard Peris
Eduard holds a Ph.D. and Master of International Affairs. He is an international development expert with +10 years of experience in Africa working on projects financed by USAID, USIP, etc. and has worked in the Sahel for numerous years. He has actively collaborated with other organizations in the past, such as the Ethereum Foundation and Polygon, reviewing the African crypto landscape, mentoring local start-ups and supporting them in grant applications. He is a football fan and particularly enjoys hiking in the Pyrenees (as well as building Märklin train models)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/eduard-peris-deprez/

3. Beatrice Mwai
Beatrice Mwai has exceptional planning and operational skills in executing monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. She has experience working in resilience building programs focusing on agro-pastoralism, nutrition and health, gender, rangeland management and market development.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/beatrice-mwai-31711016b/

4. Margaret Makhungu
Margaret is a business executive with wide experience spanning ICT services, news & information, agriculture and manufacturing industries. She has held senior management roles in planning and implementing corporate strategy, leading corporate teams in dealing effectively with technology related risks and deriving maximum value from data and technology enabled business processes; identifying, assessing and advising on IT risks and controls, and relating them to the wider business environment. She has led, planned and implemented strategies and business technology solutions within the East African region and the Indian Ocean islands, and worked with different teams in multi-cultural and multi-skilled environments in Africa, Asia and Europe. She holds an MBA from the United States International University (USIU-A) with a double concentration in Strategic Management and in IT management. She also has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical and Communications Technology from Moi University, Eldoret. She is a certified professional in IT Governance and a certified Information Security Manager.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/margaret-makhungu-cism-cgeit-71b97373/

5. George Maina
George leads an AgTech start-up that leverages Smart Contracts on peer to peer farm leasing of farmers in Africa as well as providing farmers with a wallet for credit access and payments processing. He has spearheaded the growth of the company to more than 10,000 farmers on the platform. Moreover, George has 9+ years of experience, both from the corporate world and the start-up world. He has previously worked with the leading telecommunication companies in East and Central Africa.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-maina-80a06366/

6. Benjamin Arunda
Benjamin is one of Africa’s leading Blockchain experts and consultants on DeFi, Crypto, CBDCs and NFTs. He is the founder of ChainAdvise Blockchain Advisory; a Member of Government Blockchain Association (GBA) and Blockchain Association of Kenya (BAK). Benjamin formerly headed Blockchain Education at BAK. He is also the author of BBC World News’ featured book Understanding the Blockchain that covers Blockchain applications across 14 industries, and Blockchain – An Enterprise Perspective which is yet to be launched. His contribution in the Blockchain industry has also been featured in mainstream media such as BBC World News – In Business Africa, Citizen TV, Daily Nation and Business Daily.
Benjamin currently researches for Institute of Developing Economies - Japan External Trade Organizations (IDE-JETRO) on Blockchain application in Kenya’s informal sector. Some of the clients he has consulted for in the past and presently include: Anjarwallah & Khanna – Africa Legal Network (ALN), Osman & Associates Advocates, Silikon Consulting Group, Credit Bank Limited, BII World, Cogent Solutions, SEMrush India, Cops Finance – India, Diament – India, and Bithercash Dubai among others. He is an annual speaker at the Africa Bank 4.0 Summit and Digital Health Africa organized by BII World. He has also been a speaker and technical mentor at various conferences including Smart Cities Summit, TH.0 Blockchain & AI Hackathon 2020, Africa Banking Summit, Europe’s Blockchain in Business Conference, India’s Blockchain in Accounting Summit and Cryptocurrency - the Fiscal Future among others.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-arunda-430b99113/

7. Don Ochola
Don is a result-oriented technology industry leader, pioneering and managing solution designs of varying complexity. He leverages over 15 years of requirements and infrastructure analysis expertise to drive business development and retention to customer-focused success. Don has previous served as Head of IT at Imperial Bank for 15 years and as a Systems Integration Manager for 6 years at Commercial Bank of Africa. He has an MSc. in Information Systems and a Diploma in Electrical/Electronics Engineering
https://www.linkedin.com/in/don-ochola-925978134/

8. Dr. Julian Rowa
Dr. Julian has 20+ years’ success leading diverse innovation for high-growth multi-national banking and non-profit organizations. He is a performance-driven Senior Level Executive, experienced in leading multi-unit regions. He has excelled in brand placement, profit growth, financial administration, and driving operational excellence. He has broad knowledge in development of new business ventures, entrepreneurship and supporting start-ups among SMEs. He brings a wealth of experience in managing a full-range of back-office operations and all aspects of driving and managing performance. He supports strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Dr. Julian has well-developed employee relations, motivation, management development and training qualifications demonstrated by higher than average retention rates and increased productivity.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/julian-rowa/

9. Joy Otieno
Joy is a student at Co-operative University and currently pursuing a Diploma in Business Information Technology. Over the years she has been able to gain experience in coding and programming languages such as C++, Java, C and Python. She has advance skills in computer packages, graphic design and video editing. Her participation in outside activities have enabled her to be able to interact and become an excellent communicator. Joy has interests in reading, problem solving and management.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/joy-otieno-16a363229/

Proposal ask

The ABYA DAO is requesting for USD 960,000.00 (Nine Hundred and Sixty Thousand US Dollars) to be disbursed over a period of one year. We welcome any other partners that would help us realize the objectives we have set out to achieve, as long as these partners are acceptable to Harmony.

We are asking for USD 250,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars) to meet our start-up costs and be able to prove this idea with tangible results and milestones. We will initially start in Kenya, where we are confident that within the first quarter, we will have covered at least 50% of all the accredited universities in the country. The milestones and results in the first quarter will be sufficient to give Harmony a heads-start in terms of publicity, visibility and buzz among the youth.
Any budget surplus in any given quarter will carried forward to the next quarter, and therefore reduce the amount of financial resource required for that quarter. Governors will be paid at a rate not exceeding $75/hour and they will work for not more than 5 hours per week. Governors who are also members of the secretariat will not be paid alongside other governors, but they will receive their salaries alongside the secretariat. This is to ensure that the cost of paying salaries does not go over the roof. The governors will be paid based on specific tasks assigned and completed. We shall also have a secretariat staff who will be paid at a daily rate not exceeding $120 per day and not exceeding 25 days per month. The secretariat will work full-time to support onboarding of the chapter clubs and carry out the day-to-day activities of the DAO.

Budget

Timeline

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Why Harmony would be a good fit for this project

Blockchain platforms of the future will need to address the threefold challenges of scalability, interoperability and sustainability. Harmony was built to solve the riddle of delivering both scalability and decentralization at no expense of one another. Harmony comes with an additional promise of delivering high throughput accompanied by two “lows”: latency and fees. Combined, they are supposed to put the platform at the heart of the efforts to lay the foundation of the future decentralized trustless economies.

The project with the patronage and financial support from Harmony, will train a new breed of blockchain researchers, developers, policymakers, users and enthusiasts in the long-term. This strategy will in the long-term provide Harmony access to an ecosystem which will support the adoption of its Blockchain and products in the region.

Contact

37 Likes

This is the most detailed and clearly well defined DAO proposal. Targeting University students is really well thought out since that is where we have real potential and talent that is capable of growing the Blockchain ecosystem

9 Likes

This is great…HARMONY TO AFRICA

3 Likes

This is a well drafted proposal. Clearly, the Abya Dao team have a solid project with detailed steps to how they plan to achieve it.

3 Likes

Business runs on information. The faster it’s received and the more accurate it is, the better. Blockchain is ideal for delivering that information because it provides immediate, shared and completely transparent information stored on an immutable ledger that can be accessed only by permissioned network members.
I love this great idea. Harmony to Africa.

2 Likes

The Blockchain ecosystem is really going to thrive in Africa when what is said in this proposal is effected.

2 Likes

@kjbmcolaka This is a great proposal, and it decentralizes information to the grassroots. So what if a university already has a club but it has not been active ? What will the DAO do to ensure that the clubs remain active and are really productive?

2 Likes

We will bring them on board and ensure they are up to speed where others are. We want the content and training to be standardized, so that what a a university in Uganda gets is the same to what a university in South Sudan gets

3 Likes

An excellent proposal that seeks to tap into, and shape the innovative and transformative skills of the aggressive youths. Would be glad to see you funded, so that you actualize these great ideas!

4 Likes

I am extremely impressed with the depth of thinking that has gone into preparing this proposal. The team behind it is solid and capable of pulling through the work of making Blockchain popular, well understood and utilized tool to combat unemployment and related challenges facing the youth in Africa. Kudos @kjbmcolaka and the entire team for a job well done. Wishing you success in getting the necessary funding support.

4 Likes

@kjbmcolaka How do you plan on electing the governors to give a chance if someone wants to be a governor and thinks they are qualified?

2 Likes

This is a great initiative leveraging on the immense untapped and very talented catchment in the society. From the lessons learnt on how technology and innovation can revolutionalise a society economy and employment creation. A case in point being Safaricom model in Kenya. Infusing innovation in food security would reengineer the sector creating new opportunities and catalyzing interest among the young who find agriculture unattractive.

3 Likes

@powerlifter_arnold for governors we are already 9 and not planning to increase that number. Thanks though, for showing interest.

2 Likes

This is a very well thought out proposal and impact of this will lead to new Blockchain communities in all leading institutions in Africa. As it has been predicted Africa will lead in Blockchain adoption and use cases, to fulfillment of that, this project can be very instrumental. Thanks for Paul for the Good Work!!!

2 Likes

Great ideas in the proposal. Hope the project goes through.

3 Likes

I love this idea, wow! :+1:t6:
Harmony to Africa💪🏿

1 Like

I love this. ,:heart::100:
Harmony to Africa.

2 Likes

This is a good one. The proposal merits the review of the sponsoring organization.

4 Likes

This is the way to go. We are in dire need of the efficiencies that will be realised with this ecosystem. Together we move forward.

4 Likes

Such a wonderful proposal. Very well thought out. I can see the replicability of it. I know some of the governors; a very diligent and multi-talented team. Hoping that the proposal gets funding.
It will be a game changer.

4 Likes