The recent collaboration between IOG Education and the Africa Blockchain Center (ABC) culminated in a two-month Cardano developer training course in Nairobi, Kenya. This course aimed to bridge the gap between the growing demand for skilled blockchain developers and the current supply, especially in regions like Kenya.
IOG’s Course Focuses On These Critical Skills
IOG’s team, including Robertino Martinez, Dr. Lars Brünjes, and Karina Lopez, faced the challenge of teaching Haskell, the programming language underpinning Cardano. The course was designed to elevate students from beginners to competent developers in Haskell, Plutus, and Marlowe, one of Cardano’s smart contract languages, despite Haskell’s complexity.
The course was initially planned for an 8-hour daily commitment. However, it was adapted to a 5-hour daily schedule to accommodate the students’ jobs and university commitments in Nairobi. This change was a response to the unique working culture in Kenya, where many individuals hold multiple jobs.
Students showed “strong commitment and resilience,” attending classes after working mornings and continuing their studies until evening. The course included practical exercises and project work, facilitating hands-on learning and real-world application of skills.
Karina Lopez observed active “participation and enthusiasm” among the students, particularly women, highlighting a move towards greater diversity in blockchain and technology fields.
Kenyan Students Tackle Real-World Challenges With Cardano Technology
The program also featured a personal project phase, enabling students to apply their skills to address community-specific problems. These projects varied from decentralized lotteries to simulations of economic systems.
Following the in-person training, the course transitioned online for eight more weeks, allowing for deeper exploration of advanced topics and project development. The extended course included advanced Haskell training, the creation of Marlowe contracts, the writing of Plutus smart contracts, and the development of a functional stablecoin decentralized application (DApp).
The training in Nairobi also involved IOG’s participation in local tech events and exploration of Kenyan culture and environment, including visits to Nairobi National Park and the Maasai Market.
This program in Nairobi represents a step towards addressing the need for blockchain developers in Africa and globally. Completing this course marked a significant phase in the student’s journey into blockchain development, equipping them with skills to build on the Cardano platform.
As IOG continues to expand its education initiatives, the impact of such programs on the blockchain ecosystem and local communities is expected to grow. The Cardano ecosystem, via different entities, has been working on setting a solid foothold in Africa. Their efforts go back to 2020 and even sooner, when IOG established an office in the region.
As Bitcoinist reported in 2021, Cardano unveiled a partnership with World Mobile to connect over 250,000 users to the internet in the coming years. In addition, IOG partnered with the Ethiopian government to implement blockchain solutions across different sectors to onboard millions to the ecosystem in the coming decade.
Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview