Short Story

Problem statement :

Opportunities for young African devs to learn at an elite level and get them everything they need to make their ideas and projects a reality

Describe your solution to the problem

African Developer Training (then Expertise) Centre specializing in the development,of core Cardano blockchain technologies and applications.

Relevant experience

Team of ambassadors who co-founded PoA in 2019.
PoA runs in the ITN since December 2019 and was “Pioneer” in the F&F Haskell TestNet.

Website/GitHub repository (not required) https://poapool.com/
Detailed plan (not required) – Fill in here any additional details

Why Are We Founding the African Blockchain Centre for Developers?

The world is now built on code, it’s not only brick-and-mortar anymore. Globally, many people don’t see an African as a potential world class software engineer. Views about Africa are based on advertisements and media that solicit help for children or other donations. We don’t believe that this is the most efficient or a sustainable way to support Africa!

The African continent is home to an emerging digital ecosystem and a massive, creative, and youthful talent pool. It is time to shine a spotlight on the ready potential of the continent and for a new generation of creators and leaders to rise up. We believe that we must provide the opportunity for people who want to make changes to positively impact society.

As the world and the role of blockchain continues to develop, we have brilliant African minds that are full of ideas and energy but who lack access to the infrastructure and funds to realize their dreams. We would like to give them the opportunity to learn at an elite level and get them everything they need to turn their ideas and projects into reality.

The African Blockchain Center for Developers (ABCD) will create opportunities by providing blockchain solutions for the world and by utilizing the pool of talent working remotely in Africa to build solutions for developers, start-ups, enterprises, and governments both on the continent and worldwide. The vision of the ABCD is to help bridge the developer-skills gap in Africa by providing better access to high-quality, world-class skills on blockchain technology.

Our main goal is finding talented and motivated people to provide them with the skills and means necessary to perform at an elite level. Following this, we will give new developers the opportunity to contribute to existing projects, to create their own projects, or to place them with partner companies looking for talent. All of this will in turn contribute to the global developer community on the Cardano network.

 

An In-Depth Look at the African Blockchain Center for Developers

The mission of the African Blockchain Center for Developers is to stimulate the establishment and growth of technology-based start-up companies and other blockchain-enabled businesses.

By fulfilling this mission, ABCD will concretely contribute to:
• Local job creation
• Local business development
• On-boarding to the global Cardano ecosystem
• Creation of Smart contracts and Dapps

Together with the Cardano Community, ABCD will create, develop and provide open source materials for new and emerging technology specializing in the development of core Cardano blockchain technologies and applications. In both the immediate and long terms, ABCD will facilitate enhanced economic health in Africa while promoting and encouraging adoption of Cardano throughout the continent.

These achievements will be self-reinforcing: by increasing the successful development of emerging businesses in the Cardano blockchain ecosystem, we will create value and new investment opportunities. By providing training, mentorship, shared space, and professional assistance, we will build a network of experts who will be able to share their expertise with additional developers. By incubating businesses, ABCD will move out into the community and contribute to the overall vitality, diversity, and growth of Cardano in the booming African economy.

ABCD will provide an environment that allows Africans to take an active role in “growing their own” businesses that will lead to job creation. These new businesses and new jobs produced create wealth through multiplier effects that ultimately benefits the overall community beyond the individuals.

 

What Will the ABCD Do?

Developer Training and skills development

ABCD will train developers and provide a network for collaborators to meet and contribute to the Cardano ecosystem. ABCD will provide value added services customized to their needs at every step of their learning journey within the Cardano and Blockchain environment.

Business Assistance

Together with the Cardano community and active partners, ABCD will help startups through their early development by providing business advice, resources, contacts and technical support services including guidance and mentoring on business strategy, management, marketing, financial, legal, and product development issues as well as connecting startups with investors.

Facility-Based Services

ABCD will provide developers and start-ups with appropriate rental space and flexible leases, shared business services and equipment, technology support services, and assistance necessary for company growth.

 

Benefits to Stakeholders

When ABCD reaches its cruising altitude, the center will benefit a wide range of stakeholders.

How Will ABCD Benefit the Cardano Ecosystem?

Some of our developers already have promising ideas for some of the most critical issues in Africa. ABCD believes that the public’s faith in a blockchain value is one of the key factors for adoption. ABCD not only intends to train developers to service projects within the Cardano community but also provide technical assistance to local communities to solve inherent African problems on the Cardano blockchain by providing an ecosystem that enables blockchain startups to flourish.

We think that in order to promote and lead to the adoption of Cardano, we need to show everyday people that everything is possible. We will seek to show how useful applications can be developed and integrated into the ecosystem.

In particular, we seek to create applications for African users that are made by Africans, not just westerners. On a global scale, we believe that the success of Cardano can be measured by the people and for the people.

How Will ABCD Benefit Youth and the Unemployed?

ABCD ecosystem will enable youths, software engineers, developers and dreamers to kick-start a career in blockchain development, learn Blockchain related skills as well as apply that knowledge in building decentralized applications within Cardano.

How Will ABCD Benefit Startups?

Start-ups can collaborate with both local and worldwide entrepreneurs to create partnerships, to meet the unique needs suppliers, and to secure capital. ABCD will help accelerate blockchain startup growth by providing office space and services, mentorship, expertise, influence, and access to capital.

All of this lowers the overhead and operating costs during critical formative years. A connection to ABCD will significantly increase visibility and presence of companies in the marketplace and advance their success potential.

How Will ABCD Benefit the African Community?

ABCD will create new employment opportunities in the blockchain space for Africans as well as create higher wage and higher skill jobs.

ABCD activities within the region and then the continent will enhance Africa’s image as a progressive, future-thinking place that encourages and supports technology business development.

ABCD will support the community and government in economic development, provision of skilled workers, and an increased tax base. We will provide increased visibility of host communities and improved entrepreneurship in the blockchain sector.

 

The ABCD Recruitment and training Process

One of the critical steps to guarantee the success of this project on the long term is the quality of recruitment.

We not only need to find brilliant young developers, we also need to ensure that they will stay within the training center for a period of 3-4 years.

To establish technical criteria, we will collaborate with the Project Catalyst team and determine the best onramps to the ABCD.

To start, we have already pre-selected 15 young developers including young talented women. These people will have a solid IT and dev background and are already operational to develop applications in several useful languages (Java, Javascript, Python, etc.). ABCD recruits will continue to learn Haskell, Plutus and Marlowe in order to be able to develop their first Dapp as soon as Goguen is available.

Regarding the materials and educators, we are in close contacts with Lars Brünjes and his team for materials. A 10 weeks Haskell course (including 4 weeks on Plutus and Marlowe) have been completed remotely (due to Covid-19) in Mongolia. Once ABCD actually has all its infrastructure ready and when IOG’s team is available virtual training sessions is feasible. We have also been in touch with John O’connor in Ethiopia where IOG has trained 20+ students in Haskell. We will work with them to create educational content based on our experience following the launch of ABCD and to organize remote training sessions

 

Proposed organizational structure for ABCD in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Staffing

In order to efficiently manage and run the ABCD, we will need a support team that maximizes the ability of our developers to dedicate themselves to “learning and coding”.

For that purpose, we plan to recruit the following roles:
• Head of center
• Secretary/receptionist
• Security

The ABCD staff would oversee the day to day activities of the center as well as manage facilities. Subsequent increases in staff strength will depend on increases in workload and funding availability.

Longer term, the ABCD hopes to foster a blossoming network of professional developer teams throughout the African Continent.

Project director and lead coordinator will be Cardano Ambassador Joshua Akpan. Joshua is known throughout the Cardano Community for his leadership and coordination of Blockchain Meetups, host on The Cardano Community, AfroFinLab and POA Podcasts, boots on the ground, collaborator and advocate for Proof of Africa (POA), Cardano Shelley Summit 2020 Presenter, and Social Media Evangelist for Cardano.

 

ABCD Venue

We have conducted prospects for finding ABCD’s offices (rental) and some interesting ones have been selected.

Among them, one on the Woji Road, GRA Phase 2, Port Harcourt, Rivers retains our attention.

This place will allow a team of up to 60 people with open offices, meeting rooms, conference rooms, etc. in a secure area.

Until ABCD reaches its critical size, offices and services will be sub-rented to other businesses.

 

Long-Term Continuation Plan

Within the next 10 years, we intend to develop the project progressively increasing the number of attendees and then expand the initiative in other countries.

Long term activities of ABCD will be:

Blockchain Training/Education

ABCD will train and enable entrepreneurs to launch a career in blockchain and Hyper-ledger Fabric and gain the essential knowledge and expertise to develop applications in enterprise environments.

We will also provide training for scholars, government agencies, corporate bodies, private firms and entrepreneurs that need to know and understand blockchain technology and the benefit of developing their applications on the Cardano ecosystem.

Direct Business Development Assistance

ABCD will provide oversight and facilitate access to resources in order to stimulate sustainable MSME development by improving their general business environment.

Professional Network and Relationship Support

ABCD will play an active role in developing links with resources that entrepreneurs might not otherwise have access to as small, emerging businesses.

ABCD is already developing a broad-based pool of high-quality professionals that have the technical and business skills needed to support client businesses.

Educational/Awareness Programs

ABCD will build and maintain up-to-date information resources for technology start-ups as well as host on-site seminars, meet-ups, hackathons and other events of interest to technology start-ups.
Facility-Based Services

ABCD will provide clients with appropriate rental space and flexible leases, shared business services and equipment, technology support services, and assistance necessary for company growth.

 

Roadmap

To reach these ambitious but realistic objectives, we have created a plan to progressively extend our activities following several steps:

Pilot phase (Year 1)

Test phase, opening of a permanent center in Nigeria for 15 full-time developers in order to test the format, content, level of the attendees to be able to create a tailor-made program to train and support our developers.

Phase 1 (Year 2 – 5)Replicate the pilot model at larger scale to allow more attendees to get trained.

We already developed a network of more than 50 African developers familiar with Cardano and passionate about the Blockchain ecosystem.

Phase 2 (From year 3)

Replicate and expand the training model in different countries in Africa. We already have promising contacts with Abidjan university officials in Ivory Coast and with the Satoshi Centre in Botswana.

Phase 3 (From year 5)

Opening of permanent centers across Africa applying the lessons learned from the Nigerian office.

 

Simple budget and Financial Estimates

ABCD will kick-start operations from a pilot phase (first trimester) estimated at 450 000 ADA.

The estimate need by the end of 2021 is approximately 3 000 000 ADA.
This amount represents what is needed to fully run ABCD for a year hosting 15 developers and staff. This will be covered by both the projects our developers will work on as well as the kick-start funding we might benefit from.

This estimate takes into account the different costs :
• Safety / Fire / Hazards
• Insurance (Full cover)
• Power setup (Generators, Inverter, Power-bank, etc.)
• Server room (CCTV servers, Internet, networking, wiring, etc.)
• Basic working setup (Workstation, display, screen, desks, tables, chairs, whiteboard, etc.)
• Conference and meeting rooms (screen, tables, chairs, whiteboard, etc.)
• Reception
• Kitchen/lounge
• Monthly expenses (electricity, internet, cooling/AC, salaries)

 

Catalyst Fund – Round 2 (pilot phase 1)

In order to fit into the time frame of the Catalyst project, this estimate takes into account the different costs for 6 weeks.
This amount will be crucial for ABCD to kick-start its activity investing in hardware and in the infrastructure allowing the developers to start working effectively in a stable environment:

Investment costs :
• Power – (Equipment + Installations) : 4 000$
• Networks – (Equipment + Installations) : 800$
• Workstations : 6 800$
• Laptops : 1 200$
• Raspberry Pi : 600$
• Display/screens (training room) : 750$
• Desks, tables, chairs (training room) : 900$
• Whiteboard (training room) : 150$
• Miscellaneous : 1 000$
Total investment costs : 16 200$

Recurring costs (6 weeks) :
• Power – (Rental / Fuel / Elect. / Maint.) : 500$
• Networks – (Rental / Subscription) : 400$
• Facility* – (Rental / Maint.) : 10 000$
• Adhoc staff : 2 000$
• Safety / Fire / Hazards : 500$
• Insurance (Full cover) : 1 000$
• Miscellaneous : 1 000$
Total investment costs : 15 400$

 

Total costs Catalyst Fund – Round 2 : 31 600$

 

*the cost of $ 10,000 is for one quarter, being incompressible, we have chosen to show it for the first 6 weeks ($ 0 for the second period of 6 weeks)

 

Catalyst Fund – Round 3 (pilot phase 2)

In order to fit into the time frame of the Catalyst project, this estimate takes into account the different costs for 6 weeks :

Investment costs :
• Workstations : 1 500$
• Laptops : 500$
• Raspberry Pi : 300$
• Display/screens (conf. room) : 500$
• Desks, tables, chairs (conf. room) : 700$
• Miscellaneous : 1 000$
Total investment costs : 4 500$

Recurring costs (6 weeks) :
• Power – (Rental / Fuel / Elect. / Maint.) : 500$
• Networks – (Rental / Subscription) : 400$
• Facility – (Rental / Maint.) : 0$
• Adhoc staff : 3 000$
• Safety / Fire / Hazards : 500$
• Insurance (Full cover) : 1 000$
• Miscellaneous : 1 000$
Total investment costs : 6 400$
Total costs Catalyst Fund – Round 3 : 11 000$
Total costs for pilot phase : 42 600$

 

Once the project starts, we estimate the costs of running the infrastructure and paying the 15 developers to be:

Fund needed for one trimester

This estimate takes into account the different costs for a trimester :

Investment costs :
• Workstations : 1 500$
• Laptops : 500$
• Display/screens : 500$
• Desks, tables, chairs : 1 000$
• Miscellaneous : 1 000$
Total investment costs : 4 500$

Recurring costs :
• Power – (Rental / Fuel / Elect. / Maint.) : 1 000$
• Networks – (Rental / Subscription) : 800$
• Facility – (Rental / Maint.) : 10 000$
• Adhoc staff : 10 000$
• Developers salary (15 pers.) : 45 000$
• Safety / Fire / Hazards : 1 000$ :
• Insurance (Full cover) : 2 000$
• Miscellaneous : 1 700$
Total investment costs : 71 500$
Total costs for a trimester : 76 000$

 

Fund needed for one year

Total costs for Y1 (pilot + 3 trimesters) : 270 600$

When the structure will have found its cruising altitude, we will gradually increase the number of developers we can host and pay. The structure fees will stay stable since the venue might allow us to host up to 60 developers.

 

Other initiatives

Following the evolution and adoption of blockchain related projects we will seek additional funds within the Cardano community and beyond.

Within the Cardano space, we are already in close contact with IOHK. We work with them on educational content in order to stay aligned with their vision and to avoid overlap.

On the educational content, we also want to work more closely with Emurgo who already proposed high quality lessons around Cardano and the Blockchain.

We will continue to work closely with PoA team members that have experience in implementing sustainable development projects in Africa and who will use their contacts within International Institutions (i.e. EU, French Development Agency, GIZ, etc.) to gather more resources.

 

Evaluation plan

In order to keep track of our progress, we would like to define with the team on what would be the most relevant indicators for evaluating the impact of our project (i.e. Number of attendees to training, papers produced, Dapps developed, Partnerships created, etc.).

We plan to provide the team/community counterparts with a detailed trimester activity report and 6 weeks brief updates.

At the end of each funding session, we will provide the Catalyst community with a detailed summary of all the costs incurred to verify our use of the funds and whether it matches the initial plan.

Moreover ABCD will be an important part of the economic development toolkit in Africa that would create new job opportunities for Africans, create higher wage jobs, better leverage training/educational materials from IOHK, contribute to the growth, success and adoption of blockchain technology businesses. These factors will provide the long-term metrics against which to measure the success of the Center.

 

Relevant experience

We (ABCD’s team) want to contribute to the bootstrap of Cardano in Africa and deeply believe that it will afford African countries to diversify their economies and help the continent to increase its innovation and investment attractiveness.

As a beginning, we are currently organizing events to educate people about Cardano in Nigeria. Besides, with PoA we have created several guides which have been used by hundreds of Cardano community members to create their stakepools, and experiment on the Shelley Incentivized TestNet (ITN).

Our telegram channel regroups more than 350 members and our articles (on Twitter, Medium, Cardano Forum, Reddit and YouTube) have been read several thousands of times. Two members of PoA working in developing ABDC are already Cardano Ambassadors (Joshua Akpan and Maxime Desalle) and have been active in the Cardano community for more than a year.
Joshua Akpan, as a Cardano ambassador in Nigeria, has participated as a speaker to the Cardano Virtual Summit in the beginning of July 2020.

We are also technically robust since PoA runs in the ITN since December 2019 and have been selected as “Pioneer” in May 2020 among the 20 stakepools allowed to join in the Friends and Family Haskell TestNet.

 

Cooperation with Proof of Africa

The training center aims at being an autonomous structure but since the founders are also involved in the Proof of Africa stake-pool project, we would like to continue to run the two projects in parallel. Our main ideas undertaking this cooperation are:
• rewards generated by PoA could be used to develop ABCD’s activities,
• PoA infrastructure (servers, relay nodes, etc.) might be made available to our developers for them to train and gain autonomy in running the Cardano network,
• PoA would benefit from the activities developed by ABCD as a proof of its efficiency and reliability in creating real opportunities in Africa.

As a reminder, PoA is a stake-pool which attempts to represent Africa in the Cardano ecosystem. It can be thought of as a stake-pool-powered adoption driver based in Africa. This initiative is positioned to contribute to the adoption of Cardano in Africa and deeply believe that it will allow African countries to not only diversify their economies but also help the continent to increase its innovation and investment attractiveness.

 

Achievements so far

To have a more detailed view on what PoA have done for the community so far, please have a look on our several platforms:
@poapool
https://poapool.com/
t.me/poapool

Requested funds in ada. Only use numbers! No symbols, letters, fractions. 335,000

Which of these definitions apply to you? Entrepreneur, Stakepool operator, Community manager

ABCD

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