In the -so called- developed world, the blockchain ecosystem is, in general terms, fixated on the speculative nature of the crypto economy. But other societies are starting to explore ways in which blockchain technology may solve fundamental societal problems. At the same time, the emergence of DAOs as a new coordination paradigm matches with the atomized structure of the emerging services economy. Blockchain can facilitate digital identities, better value-chains and environmental traceability, reduce the possibility of fraudulent elections, tackle corruption and provide better documentation to safekeeping land titles or medical records.
However, the number of proven use cases is still embryonic as the public generally perceives blockchain technology as overly complex. For it to go mainstream, blockchain technology needs to solve real problems through strategic, concrete and measurable initiatives. For example, while Harmony provides millions of dollars in grants to scale thousands of developers, the vast majority do not come from Africa.
Harmony’s Africa DAO seeks to put a remedy to this. Harmony’s Africa DAO mandate is to organically reinforce the Harmony African ecosystem, making it a key player on the African continent. Over time, the Harmony Africa DAO could even become redundant, having given way to multiple self-sustainable DAOs over Africa. In other words, Harmony’s Africa DAO will boost Harmony’s African ecosystem as it reaches cruising altitude.
To accomplish our mandate, Harmony Africa will conduct a series of intertwined activities, all geared at accomplishing its mission:
The first and main objective is to the technical understanding of Harmony among African developers. Due to Africa’s wide diversity of development stages, our activities will always span over a minimum of three countries to ensure the best possible exchange of knowledge. We believe the transfer of intra-African knowledge provides value for all.
Technical and non-technical trainings
The training will target advanced web2 developers who still do not use blockchain professionally, even if they are familiar with the technical concepts. The focus of the sessions will be to introduce them to the technology, including Harmony protocol. We intend to deliver these in person whenever possible and by a senior developer. At the end of the sessions, participants should be fluent enough to build on Harmony.
Trainings metrics: 1) Number of participants who complete the training, including a final evaluation. 2) Number of grant applications coming from African countries supported by the Africa DAO. 3) Number of projects developed with Harmony.
However, while technical training represents a push factor in growing the ecosystems, a pull factor also needs to exist. In this sense, we anticipate organising more business-oriented training that targets business incubators and schools. In Uganda’s top tech incubator, only one incubated project relates to blockchain. There is room to change this by providing more general courses/talks in incubators, business schools, etc.
Meetups for the tech community
Meetups are fundamental to promote both Harmony’s spirit and understanding. We intend to organise a minimum of one monthly meet-up in each country. As the community grows, we will hold them in different cities.
Meetups for the tech community metrics: 1) Increased engagement with Harmony’s site from Africa. 2) Number of participants and the diversity of their background sectors, as well as their seniority positions.
2.- Public influence
At the Africa Harmony DAO we think it is crucial to spread the word on the benefits of Harmony -and blockchain at large- as we are still at a point where many key stakeholders such as regulators and journalists associate blockchain with crypto scams. It is vital to support them, train them and work with them so that they all understand the benefits that this technology may bring to their societies.
Seminars for journalists and decision makers.
Public influence metrics: 1) Number of participants and the diversity of their background sectors, as well as their seniority positions. 2) Number of positive publications of journalists who attended the training.
3.- Tech for good
For people to see how Harmony will create a long-lasting impact, words are not enough. In Africa, the sectors in which blockchain can contribute span from financial inclusion to the most basic public services to support the emergence of services. The Harmony Africa DAO will test out a number of potential solutions such as:
- Remittances: one of the most positive externality uses is blockchain to facilitate value transfer across borders… In many African countries, up to 20% of total income comes from remittances. While many countries have attempted to address the problem, regulation and non-technological impediments prevent success of implemented solutions.NFT for biodiversity and conservation: After a horrendous jihadi attack killed eight French and Nigerien nationals at West Africa’s only remaining giraffe reserve, local youth wish to work with Nigerien rangers to deploy giraffe NFTs. The initiative would compensate for the lack of tourist income while giving the local youth an added sense of purpose. Similarly, we are exploring an NFT campaign to support the preservation of Uganda’s gorilla population while increasing government transparency.
- NFT for creators: connecting young sub-Saharan artists (Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso) with international galleries through NFTs. It is important to note that employment opportunities are notoriously scarce in sub-Saharan Africa and that employment programs deployed by international organisations usually focus on basic skills such as sewing or cooking. The galleries would also act as mentors for the youth.
- Land Registries: our local partners are currently discussing with the South African and local Kenyan governments to support their efforts to transfer their land registration records to the blockchain.
- Value-tracing for farmers: increasing the profit of Kenyan coffee farmers through the design of traceability solutions that reach final consumers.
Tech for good projects metrics: Number of projects designed and implemented; Number of Harmony transactions derived from the projects.
Finally, if we want to build a native African ecosystem, let’s also bring people together. For this, the Harmony DAO proposes to support the organization of a large Ethereum conference in Kenya, where all of the above activities may be presented. Our final goal is to support African developers as they create their own DAOs. We believe that a large conference provides a prime opportunity to inspire and guide developers to do so.
How do we work?
We must also go beyond what we want to achieve and focus on the how. For the Africa Harmony DAO, it is imperative that we:
- operate through a bottom-up approach. Our team works with local actors to detect potential use-cases. After which, we jointly design, prioritise and implement solutions. Just as importantly, contributors of the Africa DAO evaluate ongoing initiatives and give suggestions for achievable process and outcome improvements;
- seek co-funding from other ecosystem players such as the Ethereum Foundation, etc;
- implement properly. No mirror imaging, we seek not to fall into the classic development errors and strive to use resources efficiently while being culturally sensitive;
- act as an nvironmentally and socially-minded organization: bottom-up field-led approach & cultural diversity.
The DAO’s original governors comprises a mix of international development and blockchain experts, as well as three 3 key people from the current Harmony ecosystem, ensuring that the totality of the “blockchain for good” value chain is covered. The Harmony members will ensure that the activities are in line with Harmony’s culture and values. The following members will very probably become the first validators:
ep2338 will be the DAOs main governor. He 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).
Representation and support from the following Harmony DAOs:
- Incubator DAO.
- Community DAO.
- Developer DAO.
JB is key player of the Polygon ecosystem and know for his role as a whitehacker recovering the funds of the 2016 DAO. JB will provide direct support with all technical aspects to ep2338 to ensure that projects optimise community impact.
CocoaMaster is a Kenyan start-up entrepreneur applying blockchain to cocoa value chains since 2017. His previous experience includes 5 years with Safaricom. He is also a civil rights activist. He looks fwd to supporting all activities in the field.
AF is a finance expert with ten years of experience in Africa budgeting, variance analysis, reporting, accounting system implementation and capacity building. Her role will be to ensure that all funds are properly spent and accounted for. She has an international background gained in international development, having worked most of her career in Africa. She has extensive international donors’ experience in financial management and regulations: Global Fund, USAID, DoD, DFID, KfW, Dutch government. She currently holds the position of Finance Director with The Geoanalytics Center. Aline enjoys salsa dancing and is an advanced scuba diver. Aline will ensure that the finances are properly managed and the funds accounted for. She is particularly versed in DeFi.
TR is the Director of Programs at PeaceTech Lab in Washington, DC. PeaceTech Lab works to reduce violent conflict using technology, media, and data to accelerate and scale peacebuilding efforts. In addition to his work with PeaceTech Lab’s office in Nairobi, Kenya, Tim has also led projects in Nigeria, Niger, South Sudan, South Africa, Central African Republic, and Cameroon. From 2000-2013 Tim served as a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State with a focus on applied technology. Tim has a wealth of experience organising Hackathons and trainings across Africa. He is a blockchain enthusiast.
MM is an international development expert and a Creative Director with ample expertise in tech for good- She holds an art degree from the Escola Massana from Barcelona and is currently working on several tech for good projects for the World Bank, Mercy Corps, etc. She is also an NFT artist, supporting the access of African artists to the NFT market. MM will develop the DAO’s image, and ensure that all activities are rigorously designed, planned and implemented. She also has expertise organising Hackathons.
JR holds a Ph.D. from the Centre for Comparative and International Studies at ETH Zurich and a Master of Research in politics from The University of Konstanz. He recently led a study on the use and potential of blockchain technology in Africa.
The Africa Dao is asking for USD 2.000.000 to be disbursed in the course of three years. We will also actively fundraise with other key players to obtain added support for our activities.
We would like to ask for USD 250.000 to kick-start activities and showcase results. We propose to start in Kenya, which will allow us to test our model, after which we would increase activities to a minimum of three key countries, thus reducing Harmony’s time to market as other chains are actively growing their own local communities.
- 8 meet-ups. Meet-up moderators will be provided with basic training related to grants that Harmony currently awards, encouraging and supporting local developers as they apply. Additionally, meet-ups are used to familiarize the ecosystem with the possibility of creating national DAOs. Basic talks will also be given in incubators and business schools, ensuring blockchain exposure in those entrepreneurs most inclined to create companies. People will be encouraged to become Harmony validators.
- A generalist training for government officials, lobbyists and/or journalists. The objective of the training sessions is to explain, in a private setting, how blockchain may provide positive social change within their societies and the extent to which the technology may help them position their countries as technologically advanced hubs. It thus provides the tools to key stakeholders that may directly or indirectly support the passing of laws favourable to blockchain. The training will explain the differences between legislative lobbying, regulatory advocacy lobbying, budget advocacy, and introduce different indirect lobbying techniques. Some techniques include grassroots lobbying campaigns, media advertising, public opinion polls, mass public opinion molding efforts, elite opinion molding efforts, and others.
- At least 6 publications or podcasts in local/regional outlets talking about Harmony. In some cases key Harmony members will be invited to participate.
- During all the activities, the Africa DAO will familiarise the local ecosystem with Harmony’s corporate culture and grant process. The DAO will encourage local actors to apply to grants, and will support them in the application process when necessary.
- Similarly, the Africa DAO will support those members of the ecosystem with the most potential to attend international conferences.
- Increase the number of Harmony validators in Kenya. This figure may be compared to other countries to determine the DAO’s impact.
- In due course, a Kenya Harmony DAO should emerge.
Timeline & Budget
This budget allows for the deployment of a local focal point that consistently works with the local ecosystems to achieve desired results (reinforcing the ecosystem, organising activities, supporting grant writing, etc).
Special efforts will be made to attract the attention of international media towards the project, thus obtaining valuable press coverage for Harmony. Journalists from key outlets have already expressed interest in covering these events.