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Strathmore University

Main Auditorium

Ole Sangale Road, Madaraka, Nairobi West

Nairobi City, Nairobi County


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This 7th edition of the Blockchain Workshops, in collaboration with the African Development Bank and IBM Africa, is a multidisciplinary collaboration between leading academic research institutions that will convene a special group of stakeholders at the intersection of related disciplines to focus this discussion on the high value application of blockchain technologies, commonly viewed by Internet pioneers as the next generation Internet for the globe.

From business to government, from traditional monetary systems to alternative economies, to identity, health and education, blockchain technologies have the potential to be a powerful tool, one that offers opportunity, equality and shared prosperity. This event will be a unique opportunity to learn from each other, from the architects of these emergent technologies to the architects of policy and governance systems.


Nii Quaynor, Internet Pioneer

Vitalik Buterin, Founder, Ethereum

Bruce Schneier, Security Expert

Bitange Ndemo, former Cabinet Secretary, ICT Kenya

Peter Todd, Bitcoin Developer

And many more.



8:15 AM - 9:00 AM Registration

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM Opening Remarks

COALA Foundation

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM Welcome Remarks

African Development Bank

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM Keynote: “Africa Today and Tomorrow”

Nii Quaynor (Internet Pioneer)

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM Panel: “Demystifying the Blockchain”

A brief introduction of the various blockchain technologies and consensus mechanisms implemented today. How is the blockchain different from traditional decentralized databases? What are the different types of blockchain that are currently being developed? What are the different consensus mechanisms that a blockchain can use? What exactly are smart contracts how do they actually work, and why are they revolutionary?

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Morning Break

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Panel: “Africa Today and Tomorrow”

A discussion contextualizing the recent impact of rapid technological change and corresponding social and economical shifts across the African continent. Exploration of the specific implications of blockchain technologies with the greatest potential to impact rapidly developing economies. How is Africa addressing this new paradigm shift, one thought to be as fundamental as the rise of the Internet? How can Africa best leverage the opportunities of these new technologies? Will the African adoption of blockchain technologies differ from that observed on other continents?

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Lightning Presentations: Blockchain Applications Today & Tomorrow

A brief overview of the different uses that have been made (or will be made) of blockchain technology, with regard to different sectors of activity: from financial empowerment, including increased access to low-cost global banking, payment, and credit systems; from public registries to intellectual property management systems; from the impact of immutable recordkeeping and provenance for health and education.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Lunch

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM Panel: Financial Empowerment in Africa

Despite the rise of mobile connectivity, ordinary citizens across Africa still lack basic access to banking services and capital. How can blockchain technologies contribute to financial empowerment in Africa? Will these technology provide greater access to the global financial systems? Could they led to the emergence of alternative systems of micro-financing, and more local economies complementing or supplementing the global financial system?

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Demonstrations

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Afternoon Break

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Panel: Blockchain for Identity & Privacy

Blockchain technologies offer new opportunities for secure and non-counterfeitable identity platforms and systems. Yet, the decentralized nature of these technologies raises important concerns when it comes to establishing the identities of users. At the same time, the transparency of blockchain technologies introduce new opportunities of surveillance, which might impinge upon the privacy of end-users. A variety of solutions have been proposed so far to address one or the other of the concerns, yet none of them are capable of addressing the legal requirements for anti-money laundering or terrorism financing while preserving essential civil liberties of end-users. Can we develop blockchain-based identity systems that address these critical and often competing concerns?

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM Closing Keynote: “Can Blockchain Technologies Enable New Models of Prosperity?”

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Drinks and Canapes


9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Keynote: “Can (Blockchain) Technology Solve the Social Problem?”

Bruce Schneier

10:00 AM - 1:00 AM Panel: Institutional Transparency and Accountability

Can we leverage blockchains to bring more transparency and accountability to institutions, while reducing the potential for corruption? Can blockchains improve the efficiency of organizations, through a significant reduction in transaction costs? What use cases are being developed, from financial to quality control, supply chain management, automated transactions, etc.

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM Morning Break

11:15 PM - 12:15 PM Panel: Law, Regulation and Operational Risk

What are the relevant laws and regulations for blockchain technologies? What opportunities and challenges might regulators face when building new regulatory frameworks for crypto-currencies and other blockchain-based applications? How do we address the increasing “regulatory gap” that subsists between technological innovations and the pace at which the law can evolve? What are the common operational risks for these based applications and how can stakeholders address the common development of best practices?

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Panel: Alternative Economies

A discussion on how blockchain technologies can be used to create alternative economies, moving the focus of attention from the “formal economy” towards a variety of “informal economies”. Can the blockchain disrupt the current monopoly of market-based economies? How can we deploy systems to support the creation and viability of competing value systems? What kind of economies and new incentive structures can be built on a blockchain?

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Demonstration: Solar Energy Applications

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Afternoon Break

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Panel: Blockchain for Intellectual Property

From micropayments to public and incorruptible registries, blockchain technology provides new opportunities, which may have deep implications in the realm of intellectual property. Can blockchains and smart contracts solve the critical gaps between content producers, intermediaries and end users? Are blockchain-based databases different from DRM? What has been currently developed to create blockchain-powered applications for metadata protocols, decentralized public registries, micropayment systems, and IP rights administration?

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Demonstration: IP Applications

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Panel: “Paving New Roads Towards Prosperity”

Can blockchain technologies break new ground in increased health and education, poverty reduction and shared prosperity? Can trustless blockchain technologies be applied to promote economic opportunity, community-building and stakeholder collaboration? How can we leverage blockchains for current social and economic systems in Africa?

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Closing Fireside Chat: “Looking Towards The Future”



Lawrence Lessig - COALA's Blockchain Workshops - Sydney 2015


Vitalik Buterin - Blockchain Workshops - Sydney 2015

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Strathmore University

Main Auditorium

Ole Sangale Road, Madaraka, Nairobi West

Nairobi City, Nairobi County


View Map

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