Here’s how NEAR aims to improve Kenya



Kenya-based blockchain community Sankore has partnered with Swiss non-profit foundation NEAR to launch a regional hub that aims to develop talent within the region and build projects that aim to improve the local ecosystem.

Sankore supports projects like Kilimo Shwari, which is a blockchain-based insurance program that helps farmers deal with natural disasters. Aside from this, the firm also supports Ledja, a project that focuses on combating fraudulent documentation within Africa by using the NEAR Protocol for document verification.

The association will promote these initiatives by developing talent within the region through its workshops. Kevin Imani, the founder of Sankore, said that they are “delighted to be working with NEAR to educate and nurture talented people” and support their journeys to become blockchain developers.

Sankore also organizes meetups, educating younger Kenyans about Web3. This will also be supported by the partnership with NEAR. As the center formalizes, its educational arm has also linked with local universities and currently has 84 students and six graduates who were certified as developers through NEAR workshops.

Marieke Flament, CEO of the NEAR Foundation, said they are also “excited about the potential avenues across Africa for blockchain solutions.” Flament mentioned that the partnership gives the firm the opportunity to find and partner with talent within the region.

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In February, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) sought public input on the development of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). They published a discussion paper that aims to gain insight into potential trade-offs and regulatory challenges surrounding the introduction of a CBDC in Kenya.

In other parts of Africa, the adoption of blockchain and crypto has made progress. In April, the Central African Republic (CAR) adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. This means that citizens of the Central African Republic can use Bitcoin (BTC) for their transactions in addition to the Central African CFA franc.