The Africa Blockchain Institute (ABI) will open Rwanda’s ostensibly first blockchain school in 2020, offering five new courses for local developers, professionals and policymakers.
In an interview with Cointelegraph on Dec. 26, ABI Executive Director, Kayode Babarinde, revealed that the new school has five key courses in the pipeline: a blockchain essentials certification course, a blockchain developers’ course, an enterprise blockchain course, blockchain for lawyers and blockchain for impact.
Groundwork laid in Ghana
Babarinde told Cointelegraph that the ABI laid the foundation for its work in Rwanda by running a pilot phase for the school in Ghana, where it launched the inaugural class for a blockchain essentials certification course.
While the five course areas had already been broadly sketched out ahead of the pilot in Ghana, the school’s curriculum has now been rehauled and updated on the basis of the responses and experiences of course participants.
Babarinde said that the support and cooperation of the Blockchain DLT Rwanda Association, and its chairman, Norbert Haguma, has been a key factor in its decision to launch the school in the country.
More broadly, he characterized the local context as being highly conducive for investments in new technologies:
“Every technology company is looking for an enabling environment to serve the continent. This means supportive policies, resource management, and visibility for the market. All these make Rwanda stand out in Africa.”
While noting the need to foster the development of blockchain implementations locally, Babarinde said this should not imply an aversion to cooperating with overseas initiatives in the sector.
As an emerging technology with a still growing community, international collaboration and partnerships remain key to sustaining the adoption of blockchain across the continent, he said.
Alongside education, part of the ABI’s core activities is the development of recommendations for strengthening Africa’s regulatory framework for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, in close cooperation with the Blockchain DLT Rwanda Association.
Babarinde noted that a robust regulatory framework will be key to reducing the traction of cryptocurrency-related scams, alluding to recent “unsolicited activities” in East Africa. Earlier this month, the blockchain associations of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya issued a joint statement warning the public against these risks.
This summer, the president of Uganda officiated the 2019 Africa Blockchain Conference, where he identified agriculture, manufacturing and processing, services, and ICT sectors as key economic areas that stand to benefit from the technology’s implementation.