Western Africa Decentralized Alliance (WADA) Continues its Campaign of Building Basic Infrastructure

Awareness has increased significantly about the untapped potential resting within the African continent. When it comes to developers, educators and entrepreneurs, Cardano and Africa’s bright future goes hand in hand. However, talent and potential can only get you so far. Without the necessary infrastructure to keep them operational, Cardano developer hubs in Africa will be fighting an uphill battle. Amenities such as power, internet, networks, insurance and others that we in the west take for granted must all be secured before any real progress can be made.

West African Decentralized Alliance (WADA) seeks to continue its important work in the region by accelerating the creation of dAPPS, and attracting new developers who are attuned to solving local problems into the Cardano ecosystem. WADA has identified four areas of focus which would help the best ground solutions to emerge, i.e. infrastructure (main purpose of this proposal), education, development and outreach.

A Breakdown of What’s Needed

As already mentioned, the main priority is to establish the basic infrastructure needs necessary to keep these highly technical ecosystems operational, infrastructure which is not commonly available in African communities. First and foremost, reliable internet access in order to support inter-hub and international virtual meetings, along with stake-pool operations is a must. This will all require a consistent electrical supply, with UPS (uninterruptible power supply) integration and backup generators (local power companies are often subject to blackouts).In addition to these is a list of hardware required to support developers, teachers, students and the rest of the associated community. A breakdown can be found below. 

– Facility – (Rental / Maint.)

– Power – (Equipment/Installations/Rental/Fuel/Maintenance)

– Internet – (adequate for world communication and stake pool operation)

– Networks – (Equipment/Installations/Rental/Subscription)

– Insurance – (Safety / Fire / Hazards)

– Workstations connected to screens for classes, printers, etc.

– Desks, tables, chairs

How Much Funding is Needed?

The price tag for infrastructure support will be $125,695 USD (investment costs + 3 months recurring costs). This will be administered by WADA, and made available to the individual hubs according to a deployment plan, designed to bring all hubs to the same functionality simultaneously. Partner hubs are people with whom WADA have developed a relationship with over the last few months, and with whom they share the same goals. A detailed breakdown of costs can be found below.

How Will Success be Defined?

Success takes on many forms, but in the case of this proposal it will be judged as per the below roadmap. What this will ultimately entail is the completed network of developer hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa, connected locally, nationally and globally to both Cardano and the digital world economy.

It will  see significant Cardano market expansion in all current and future WADA-active countries, through solutions design/ dApp creation, education & outreach, and continuous capacity/capability building. WADA will have a network of hubs or centers in sub-Saharan Africa connected locally, nationally and globally to Cardano and the digital world economy :

• 1-3 months post funding

Seven local fit- for-purpose physical spaces acquired throughout West and Central Africa with internet access, stable electricity, and computers

• 4-6 months post funding

The local hubs/centres are up and running under competent leadership. Each hub is uniquely delivering according to the needs and opportunities of their communities. Organizing recurring events, education in functional programming and blockchain technology (for all ages) and community outreach and events.

• 6 months to one year

– Hubs are fully functional and specialized to serve local and national needs

– Hubs are networked with other international hubs to leverage each other’s strengths, share learning, and increase accountability.

– All WADA planned activities to expand Cardano’s market in sub-Saharan Africa such as government and academic outreach, dApp creations/business solutions, and creative enterprises in full implementation

– Collaborative projects with other projects in the Cardano ecosystem are being executed seamlessly on the ground.

Looking Ahead with a Risk Assessment

When it comes to Africa’s digital development, WADA’s extensive experience in the field is evident. This is made clear by their ability to forecast potential obstacles before they arise, and implement solutions. This is demonstrated by their inclusion of a risk management strategy, as shown below.

– 1. Legalization: some African administrations are strong in harassing new businesses.

– 2. Coordination/standards.

– 3. Cost over-run.

The possible risk management solutions:

1. Legalization:

– Obtain a legal document from which the WADA hubs would be operating. With numerous trade agreements overlapping, a copy of this document can be used for operations anywhere.

– Set up new hubs in existing offices or close to a partner developer’s office. This would not only give legitimacy in the eyes of potential users, but government officials will not easily distinguish the new business as it will be collaborating with the established one.

– Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in many countries, WADA will ensure adherence to local regulation to any extent possible

2. Coordination/standards:

– Issue standards common to each partner hub.

– Hire the services of local lawyers. Laws in many African countries are relatively similar with standards such as OHADA (Organisation for the Harmonisation of Corporate Law in Africa).

– Identification stickers to put on all material goods so as to establish ownership. A shared logo, paint and colour themes can help ensure the motivation of participants who need to not only see themselves as members of one small hub but members of one large network. These standards will be visually visible through video calls.

– The coordinating team must be physically aware of the experience on the ground. At least one visit, mid project to each hub. Ideally, the same person/team would visit all hubs to establish a common assessment.

3. Cost overruns

– Starting a new business/office has unexpected costs. This needs to be taken into account.

– Additional to forming new hubs, also find an established business dealing with programming and digital products to partner with.

– Actors would need to be compensated. For example, the coordination team. But also, the “lead” of each hub, even if it is a business owner. These costs can be symbolic and need not cover the full extent of their involvement as they are either already interested or employed. This will ensure that they keep their focus on the hub.

– To ensure functionality, cost items must be arranged in order of priority. We do not want to buy laptops and printers only to find that there is no money for the office. Ideally, the ranking will ensure that the office can maintain some level of functionality.

Consistently Striving for Technological Development

WADA has been consistent in their efforts to bring about technological development to the African continent. Having established themselves as a unifying presence in the region, they continue to strive towards excellence. With the right funding, there’s no telling how far they can take their vision. With the Cardano community on hand to offer support, the success of WADA is a win-win situation for all of us.

 If you’d like to know more information or have questions/comments regarding WADA’s proposal, check out the link provided: https://cardano.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Planting-Roots-In-Africa/350764-48088

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