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An Interview with EOS Nairobi: “We Believe that EOS is the Most Appropriate Tech for Our Community”

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EOS Nairobi
Image by EOS Nairobi

Bitcoin Africa had the opportunity to sit down with EOS Nairobi’s Daniel Kimotho, George Mosomi, and Felix Macharia for an exclusive interview to discuss the projects they are currently working on and their vision for EOS in Africa.

Daniel Kimotho, EOS Nairobi’s Community Lead, has a background as a business and web developer (BBIT), and he has co-founded the First Nexus Company that aims to provide solutions for companies embracing emerging technologies for their businesses.

Felix Macharia is the Head of Operations, having his background in entrepreneurship and scientific research. He and Daniel are both co-founders at First Nexus, and both are researchers affiliated with the Institute for Blockchain Studies, based in New York.

George Mosomi is EOS Nairobi’s Chief Technology Officer. His background is in strategic consultancy. He is the co-founder of Capitally Blockchain, a firm that consults with companies on adopting blockchain technology.

Why Did You Decide to Launch an EOS Community Instead of, say, an Ethereum, Waves, or IOTA Community?

We found that EOS would offer greater support for decentralised applications, which could be built to enhance business and commerce through such applications. Each of these mentioned platforms has ushered in a new frontier of technology that was the best advantage in its time, and we believe that EOS is the most appropriate tech for our community currently.

What Projects Are You Currently Working on?

There are four projects; addressing health, traffic fine management, art, and enumeration.

The project on health aims to incentivise holistic living by awarding the Health Wealth token for goals attained by community members. The founder of this initiative is Jason Kunga, who founded the “Back to Nature” movement.

Joshua Nyaga has proposed a solution to incentivise efficient traffic offence management. The DApp will connect the traffic, legal system and motorists such that an offending motorist upon determination of the offence will be able to log in, accept the charge as legally prescribed, and pay a fine, out of which a 20 percent commission will go to the reporting traffic officer. This is set to promote safe driving, reduce corruption and increase efficiency in traffic offence management.

Amos Mburu proposed an art project to provide a secure platform for artists to earn directly from their clients, while significantly reducing the risk of piracy through smart contracts that create digital signatures for the art pieces, thereby ensuring each artist earns rightfully from their work.

Amos Mburu has proposed a project that seeks to leverage blockchain and graphene technology to afford effective mechanisms to identify, capture pertinent data, and enumerate people as per their geographic areas. Normal census mechanisms can be affected by bias, harsh terrain and adverse weather conditions in certain regions. If, however, other mechanisms, such as mobile proliferation are leveraged, it is possible to reach more people accurately.

What is Your Plan for EOS Nairobi?

EOS Nairobi

The EOS Nairobi community is set to grow steadily through its educational and incubator program whose main aim is to build capacity and develop skills among software developers, entrepreneurs, and people who are ready to take advantage of blockchain technology for business development. The demand for such skill is already quite high across various sectors, so EOS Nairobi will aim to bridge that gap.

This incubator initiative is being facilitated in partnership with Techno Brain and Strathmore University, as the partnerships in that initiative are vital in creating an enabling ecosystem for businesses leveraging blockchain technology.

As more companies and businesses seek alternative means of financing, such as digital tokens, as seen in the last year with billions of dollars raised in initial coin offerings (ICOs) or token generation events (TGE), it is evident that there is need to ensure proper mechanisms and standards are put in place to ensure that these businesses deliver sustainable value, otherwise, there is risk of businesses collapse post ICOs and monetary loss.

EOS Nairobi plans to develop a framework in partnership with other organisations to consult, guide and benchmark best practice for businesses seeking to raise funds for operations and scaling through token generation events. Two such projects are underway.

What Role Can EOS Play for Africa?

EOS, as an open source technology platform, is a powerful decentralised infrastructure. Its core vision is to secure life, liberty and property. Among its core principles is the value of community, and one of Africa’s unique strengths is that of community. In any African country, one cannot miss a sense of community. You are, therefore, likely to find people innovating solutions based largely on community needs. Furthermore, questions on property ownership and inheritance are quite sensitive in Africa. EOS can play a significant role in propelling technological innovation for Africa’s communities to secure life, economic liberty, and property ownership.

Moreover, EOS can open up the next frontier of social enterprise initiatives, as it would be easy to track results and impact quite efficiently. EOS offers a high transaction rate per second, 10-100,000/sec; easy-to-use interfaces for people, no transaction fees and it provides for scalability to support all those transactions on the network. EOS has the potential to spark a multiplier effect for development, social transformation and social impact in Africa.

As these innovations come up and their impact is assessed over time, it is likely that Africa’s developmental potential will be significantly opened up for generations to come, because as it begins with the youth and first adopters, it will be unstoppable.

What Are Your Thoughts on EOS for the Future?

EOS as a project is set to launch the next frontier of technological development globally. Much in the same way that with improvement in internet accessibility and upgrades from 2G to 4G and now 5G, we were able to see the evolution of technology from email, to search engines, to mobile applications and now IoT being applied to multiple industries seeking to improve communication, security, manufacturing output, efficiency, leisure and other goals, we will see progressive evolution of innovation and initiatives for commercial and social impact.

EOS will be a gateway for innovation, increasing awareness of needs, problems, and potential solutions.

Blockchain Technology

AI and Blockchain-Powered Project CareAi Could Improve Healthcare in Africa

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CareAi

CareAi is a project of the Joint Research Centre from the European Commission that has the potential to improve healthcare services in Africa through the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

The open-source solution provides intelligent and anonymous healthcare and can diagnose diseases like typhoid fever, malaria, and tuberculosis within seconds through the use of AI. The aim of the project is to reach out to undocumented migrants, ethnic minorities, and populations secluded from healthcare systems. The anonymous nature of CareAi also allows patients such as migrants to receive a diagnosis without worrying about deportation.

How It Works

CareAi is a machine featuring a finger prick and a lab-on-a-chip technology initiated by a Harvard University chemistry professor called George Whitesides.

To receive a diagnosis, a patient will have their finger pricked and the blood sample is deposited on the chip, put in the machine, and anonymised. Once this is done, CareAi’s AI-powered health assistant analyses the sample by referencing it to a wide range of medical and diagnosing data and then displays the results on a screen and provides a printout for the same.

The results come with actions that the user should take such as getting a prescription from partner chemists or seeing a participating NGO doctor that provides anonymous treatment and who can claim back payment for services rendered.

Additionally, CareAi correlates medical data with records of academic data and journals anonymously. The anonymised data is securely stored on the blockchain while smart contracts manage the rights, permission, and access to the stored health data.

Organisations use a distributed app to access the data through smart contracts. For instance, if a government wants to access the stored data for policy purposes, it has to buy tokens called CareAi Points. These tokens are then used to pay the participating healthcare NGOs and for machine maintenance.

According to a Medium article by Lucas Lorenzo, these points can propel “economic interactions in the form of a valued currency, locally and at scale; exchanging economic value and intelligent healthcare feedback for anonymised data.”

The Possible Applications of CareAi in Africa

CareAiAlthough CareAi targets refugee camps in Europe, the technology could also make a positive impact on the African continent according to the founder of cloud-based health records platform Medcera, Ndubuisi Ekekwe. He believes:

“[…] Products like CareAi could become catalytic when they begin to penetrate into villages and cities across the continent. If AI systems could handle some of the minor healthcare issues, the available healthcare professionals could focus on the most difficult issues.”

Ekekwe also says AI systems, such as CareAi, can enhance drug prescriptions where the medical history of a person is entered into the system. This enables the AI system to confidently prescribe drugs and connect the patient to the right pharmacy.

However, he notes that although AI and blockchain technology could change the healthcare systems in Africa, nations must invest in other areas such as training more healthcare professionals and installing electricity and clean water in all healthcare facilities. He also believes that the challenge of inadequate data has to be solved for AI to have a future on the continent.

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Blockchain Technology

Kenya’s RideSafe to Receive $140,000 in Funding from Aeternity Starfleet Incubator

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RideSafe

Kenyan tech startup RideSafe is set to receive $140,000 in seed funding from the Aeternity Starfleet Incubator, which it partook in earlier this year.

In Kenya, one of the easiest ways to get around is through motorcycles known as “boda bodas.” This subsection of the transport industry has been largely unregulated, creating a myriad of risks for riders and commuters alike. It is, therefore, quite likely to find riders creating associations or small social groups for their collective interests and pooling their resources and support in order to secure solutions for financing, health, and insurance.

RideSafe is a startup that has stepped up to provide health solutions for riders in real-time in case of accidents. Many riders are exposed to hazardous conditions daily. Hence, there is a need for robust solutions to safeguard their wellbeing.

Æternity Starfleet Incubator

RideSafe

Image by RideSafeApp.com

Earlier this year, RideSafe participated in the Aeternity Starfleet Incubator, which is specially designed to empower startups that seek to leverage blockchain technologies. From an initial round of 60 participants, RideSafe qualified for the shortlist of 17 teams, among which Vite and Utu were the only other African startups to participate.

Asiimwe Benson, the CEO of RideSafe, revealed in an interview that he met the Aeternity team at the World Blockchain Summit in Nairobi in early 2018, where he got an opportunity to sign up for the incubator and funding. With the $140,000 prize, the CEO intends to expand operations to serve more riders nationally; ultimately targeting the masses. The funding will also be used to build capacity and secure technical support.

Nikola Stojanow, the CEO of Aeternity Ventures, remarked that the finalists of their training program demonstrated passion, dedication, and far-reaching potential through their ability to take counsel and fine-tune their business models and road maps for best practice.

The ten teams that made it through Aeternity’s incubator have paved the way for other teams and startups to learn and gain meaningful experience in sustainably innovating solutions based on blockchain technology.

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Blockchain Technology

Coinfirm Partners with KAD ICT Hub to Launch Africa Blockchain Lab in Nigeria

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Africa Blockchain Lab

London-based blockchain regtech company Coinfirm and Nigeria’s KAD ICT Hub have launched the Africa Blockchain Lab with the aim of taking up companies focused on creating blockchain-based services and products for African economies.

The new hub based in Kaduna, Nigeria is especially interested in companies that are focused on financial inclusion and has already accommodated one such startup called Kora.

Kora, founded in 2017 by Dickson Nsofor and Maomao Hu, is a blockchain-based infrastructure for an inclusive financial system. According to the Inclusive Growth Forum, “the Kora Network will provide access to identity, secure storage, money transfer, and marketplaces on a low cost, universal access platform accessible via SMS/USSD on feature phones, or with internet access via a mobile app, enabled by blockchain technology.”

CoinfirmCoinfirm’s co-founder and CMO Grant Blaisdell said in a press release: “A Silicon Valley out-of-the-box solution approach has generally not worked in regions such as Africa; it requires a ground-up, organic approach. Coinfirm has already successfully built leading blockchain solutions, the largest structured blockchain database and coverage, and the first blockchain lab for Central Europe. Now, working with KAD ICT Hub, who share our vision of bringing transformative, blockchain-based solutions to African markets, and who have the local knowledge and expertise, we are going to do the same in Africa.” He added:

“We want to work with and provide opportunities for African entrepreneurs working in one of the most exciting and disruptive fields today while bringing our own solutions like our AML/KYC Platform and AMLT Network.”

The KAD ICT Hub

Launched in 2017, the KAD ICT Hub based in Kaduna, Nigeria is an IT innovation hub that receives support from the Nigerian government.

Africa Blockchain LabCo-founder and chief executive of the KAD ICT Hub Yusuf Bashir said: “[…] The transformative potential of blockchain is enormous, and we are confident that, working with Coinfirm, we can provide the testbed and support for today’s leading African blockchain companies, giving them the opportunity to become global leaders. Here in Kaduna, Nigeria’s third-largest state in terms of population, and leading learning and innovation hub, we are extremely fortunate to have a governor who is not only supportive of what we are doing but had ensured we are backed by the Kaduna State Government.”

The hub has been working with Trudatum, Coinfirm’s blockchain-based data document verification platform, which Poland’s largest bank PKO Bank Polski has recently started to use. Additionally, Trudatum could be used in Nigeria to securely store documents in government institutions and universities.

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