The Blockchain Industry has increasingly become popular in the African continent with reports showing that the continent possesses one of the fastest-growing markets for cryptocurrency adoption over the past year. Kenya is among the countries in Africa with one of the highest grassroot adoptions in the world as the country has been ranked fifth in the world by the 2021 Chainalysis global crypto adoption index, which is proof of the immense interest in, and increased adoption of cryptocurrency by Kenyans.
The blockchain industry presents a host of opportunities that are of immense benefits to Kenyans, including career opportunities offered by significant players in the crypto job market. This is considering the increased adoption and popularity of this particular industry has resulted in an increased demand for Blockchain expertise to help navigate this new technology.
However, reports show that the blockchain industry is currently male-dominated, and this is also the case in Kenya. Even though more women are venturing into the industry, the number of women operating in the industry is still significantly low, and this creates the need to identify effective solutions for increasing women participation. Kenya Gender DAO seeks to address this problem by putting measures into place to help women access training and mentorship that can help them gain the needed skills and knowledge for venturing into the blockchain industry and attaining fulfilling careers.
Aside from increasing women participation in the industry, the program will also help reduce unemployment, which is currently a major challenge facing the youth in Kenya. As of the first quarter of 2021, the unemployment rate in the country was 6.6%. More women will be able to secure employment in the blockchain industry, thanks to Kenya Gender DAO.
Despite the opportunities presented by the blockchain industry, there has been an increased concern of it being male-dominated with reports showing that a majority of the individuals operating in it are men. This disparity can be linked to the fact that many believe the industry is primarily characterized by roles of traders and developers, which are also male-dominated professions. This is considering blockchain first became popular during an era of increased technological advancement, which had a significant influence on both finance and tech industries, both male-dominated. The gender disparity is reflected in the Kenyan crypto market, presenting the need to promote female participation in the industry.
The challenges women face when venturing into the blockchain industry is an issue that is well known to Yvonne Kagondu, a proven and determined consultant who has been in the blockchain industry for nearly half a decade. Over this period, she has managed to identify various roles that can be taken up by women, and this has helped her sustain herself and her family. Yvonne is among a growing number of women who have managed to establish successful careers in the blockchain industry. Even though reports show that more women are venturing into the industry, female participation is still a record low.
Yvonne has not only made major steps in advancing her career in the crypto market, but has also played an active role in promoting female participation in the blockchain industry. She has managed to do so by sharing her newfound knowledge with fellow women and mentoring them so that they can be equipped with the needed skills and knowledge to establish and grow their careers in the crypto market. Based on her experienced, she is confident that women can also have fulfilling careers in the industry, and that female participation can be increased by giving women the needed push as well as a bit of incentive to provide some motivation.
Yvonne believes that more can be done to help make the blockchain industry more gender-neutral. Armed with a team of proven, skilled, and knowledgeable women, with experience working in the blockchain industry, she intends to mentor more women in Kenya in an effort to ensure that women also receive an equal chance of excelling in the industry. The team intends to put measures in place to make training more accessible to women, thus facilitating the increased involvement of women in the blockchain industry.
Some of the careers the program will be focusing on that have proven to be ideal entry-level careers for women to use to pierce into the blockchain industry include;
- Marketing and Digital Marketing.
- Community Management.
- Event Organizing.
- Writing and Blogging.
- Public Relations.
- Localization and Translation.
- Social Media Management.
- The proposed solution involves using the Andela model of training while offering monetary incentives to the trainees. Andela is an organization that cultivates IT talent in Africa and provides leading global technology companies with access to a high-skilled resource pool. Andela software engineers participate in a coding boot camp after which they work remotely from Andela’s tech campuses across Africa. IFC is currently supporting Andela as an equity investor. More information on the Andela model of training can be found on the link below:
- Training while paying women on how to launch their careers in the crypto industry.
Women will first be trained on the basics of cryptocurrencies, Harmony blockchain protocol, web3, among other key aspects relevant to the industry. The women will also receive payment during the training period considering they will be engaged in project-based, on-the-job learning.
Once the women have successfully completed the first month training, we will then give them practical roles to participate in, where they will get an opportunity to use their newfound knowledge and skills in the crypto industry, while getting first-hand experience on what it is like operating in the industry.
- The women will also be guided on how to effectively build and develop their careers in the industry. This will involve assisting them refine their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, while showing them how to establish a professional and visible online presence based on their newly found skills.
- The women will be guided on the careers they can venture into in the crypto industry, including suitable jobs to apply for.
- The first cohort will constantly be assessed, and feedback will be encouraged throughout the training period so that insight can be gained on how improvements can be made to the program to help achieve its core mission.
- After conquering and creating visibility in Kenya’s capital, we shall roll out chapters to Kenya’s four major cities.
The following milestones are targeted in the 1st year after launch:
- Create nationwide awareness of the program through the use of popular mainstream and social media platforms. This will help inform women, as well as the general public, on the program’s mission and objectives.
- Identify at least 5 different locations across the country where training will be offered to women interested in entering the crypto market. This will help ensure the training is more accessible for women.
- Train at least 50 women within the first year after launch.
The DAO’s team comprises 9 governors, each a blockchain expert with significant experience in the industry. The governors acknowledge the need for more female participation in the blockchain industry and are eager to train more women on how to establish careers and/or operate in the crypto market. Each governor possesses the necessary leadership and mentorship skills needed to train individuals and equip them will the relevant skills and knowledge needed to advance in the blockchain industry. The governors are:
- Yvonne Kagondu (Team lead)
- Juliana Mwangi
- Maureen Mwihaki
- George Maina
- Gladys Waceke
- Fiona Waithira
- Kihara Kelvin
- Aisha Morangi
The Kenya Gender DAO is asking for USD 75,000 to be disbursed in the course of 5 months.
How the money received will be used
- To finance training
- To hire physical locations for the training and related activities
- To hire administrative people such as a writer and an office administrator
- To pay the first cohort until the business is able to finance itself
We would first like to request for $20,000 to be disbursed in the first month to help set up the program, which includes, identifying suitable physical locations for training, setting up DAO stacks, establishing a suitable curriculum for the program, and reaching out to companies operating in the blockchain industry for career opportunities and partnerships.
Steps and Budget