The Africa Blockchain Center (The ABC), a Kenyan Web 3.0 startup founded in September 2021 to propel Africa into the adoption of 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) technologies by building capacity in blockchain programming and catalyzing industry readiness; offering solutions to enterprises seeking to explore the technology; and incubating blockchain startups and companies looking to transition from web 2.0 to web 3.0, recently graduated its first cohort of 105 blockchain developers under its Blockchain Programming training course.
The 6-month program, coordinated by a network of global experts, is a hands-on course that took 105 participants from six African countries, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and Benin, through the core fundamentals of blockchain technology and decentralized systems, as well as the various blockchain programming protocols, with a focus on Cardano, Algorand, and Ethereum.
Jefferson Mkungusi, the CEO of Africa Blockchain Center, believes that Africa has great untapped potential in web3 development. According to him, “The youth that we have trained will be able to build innovative solutions that will enable Africa to leapfrog to a new era. The potential that blockchain has in solving some of the challenges that are facing Africa is massive, and we have not even scratched the surface. We aim to train 10,000 blockchain programmers, power 25,000 business leaders and executives on blockchain readiness, incubate 50 blockchain startups and launch robust solutions for the market in the next five years.”
The shortfall of Blockchain Talents
According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn Corp. and OKX using data collected from 180 countries between January 2019 and June 2022, there is a supply-demand imbalance in the global blockchain field, with qualified candidates in short supply. According to the report, the number of LinkedIn members working in the blockchain space increased by 76% year on year through June, but the countries producing the most blockchain professionals are experiencing a decline in talent growth.
The CEO further said “There is not enough talent because of how novel the technology is. The technology was conceptualized hardly 13 years ago and it has been under speculation for years with no established pipeline for blockchain talent in place. We see the sector’s rapid expansion and aim to become the sector partner when it comes to blockchain capacity.”
“There has been a 17% increase in the last few years on projects utilizing blockchain. From acquiring infrastructure for transparency in information sharing to digital assets deployment and many other use cases, blockchain is earning its seat at the revolutionary-tech table. The newly trained ABC cohort will therefore become an added value into the blockchain ecosystem as they are open for new opportunities to support organizations in need of blockchain expertise in Africa and globally,” Mkungusi concluded.
A Quick Look at the African Blockchain Ecosystem
The Africa Blockchain Center invites blockchain stakeholders to join their ecosystem and gain in-depth knowledge of the functional and technical aspects of Blockchain technology, as well as access to the capacity required to deploy blockchain solutions in their businesses and industries.
The Blockchain ecosystem in Africa has continued to grow, due to the continent’s youthful population and increasing internet penetration. And the adoption of cryptocurrency, GamFi, NFTs, and other forms of blockchain-powered activities has skyrocketed in recent times.
According to research conducted by a blockchain investment firm, Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CV VC) and Standard Bank, blockchain investment in Africa grew eleven folds (11x) in Q1 2022. That is, in the first quarter of 2022, African blockchain startups raised $91 million. This means that cash inflows increased by 1,668% year on year in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year. 2021 saw a 149% increase, demonstrating how significant the influx of capital in 2022 will be. According to the most recent data, startups on the continent raised $ 213 million in the second quarter of 2022. This brings the total amount raised in both the first and second quarters of 2022 to a staggering $340 million, more than doubling the $127 million raised last year.
Continuous investment in the African blockchain ecosystem, particularly in the area of talent, signals Africa’s readiness not only to feature in terms of blockchain technology adoption on the continent but also as a net exporter of blockchain talents to the rest of the world.