๐ŸŒ ETHGlobal Africa Meetups 2023

ETHGlobal
6 min readAug 11, 2023

We were thrilled to finally reconnect with African builders in person! A recap of the energetic and inspiring community meetups in ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช Nairobi and ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Lagos.

After an absence of four years in Africa since we last ran ETHCapetown in 2019โ€” partially caused by the pandemic โ€” we were thrilled to finally be back in this tremendous & dynamic continent! From the 31st of July to the 2nd of August, we were a part of a group of community leaders and L2 founders that promoted the usage of L2 technology and the recent development in our Ethereum community as a whole in front of local Ethereum enthusiasts.

We would like to express our gratitude to Borderless Africa for facilitating this and welcoming us with open arms in these two countries, our team has never been to before. Additionally, we would also like to thank Scroll, Arbitrum, and Optimism for their support and the interesting conversations along the way โ€” on and off stage.

Africa as a whole is one of the continents with the biggest traction and adoption of web3 worldwide, and Nairobi and Lagos are rapidly becoming the thriving major blockchain hubs in Africa. Filled with an abundance of technological talent and driven people interested in developing the decentralised future that web3 is promising, we know we were in for a treat. One of our biggest goals was to get to know the local ecosystem on a personal, individual level โ€” we wanted to learn what challenges our community members but also new faces we never encountered before meet, when it comes to contributing and building on top of Ethereum. We also wanted to learn about their interests, the educational resources they use, prefer and wish for existed.

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช July 27: Kickoff in Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, has been progressively acquiring a reputation as a centre for technology and innovation in Africa. The city is located in the southeastern part of the continent. The city has a thriving population of software engineers, graphic designers and entrepreneurs. It is home to an increasing number of startup and tech companies, accelerators, and incubators.

The high rate of mobile phone penetration in Nairobi is one of the elements that is contributing to the expansion of the cityโ€™s tech scene. Over 63.9 million Kenyans possesses a mobile phone, which is almost the entire adult population, giving the country one of the greatest rates of mobile phone adoption found elsewhere in the world. The average citizen even owns more than one phone (Sources: Statista; Business Insider Africa), Because of this, mobile app developers and other tech entrepreneurs have and seek opportunity to offer solutions that are tailored to the needs of Kenyan citizens.

The support that the government provides for the IT industry is another aspect. The government of Kenya has initiated a number of programmes with the goal of fostering an environment conducive to technological advancement and business creation within the nation. One of these programmes is the development of the Konza Technopolis, a new city that is supposed to serve as a centre for technological advancement and entrepreneurship. As a whole, Nairobiโ€™s IT ecosystem is primed for continuing growth and success, as an increasing number of business owners and investors recognise the potential of this exciting city and the remarkable community of innovators who call it home.

We went to Africa with Leaders of L2s

Keeping all of this in mind, we were extremely excited to be accompanied by an array of talented founders and educators, mostly focusing on the opportunities that L2s bring for scalability and mass adoption of Ethereum.

The panelists for the meetups in both cities included:

  • Patrick McCorry, Arbitrum
  • Ye Zhang, Scroll
  • Jeff Coleman, Farcaster/Ethereum
  • Songyi Lee, Gatherings
  • Yoseph Ayele, Borderless Africa
  • Kartik Talwar & Jacob Willemsma, ETHGlobal
Source: Borderless Africa (https://twitter.com/borderlessaf) and iamsonge (https://twitter.com/iamsonge)

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ July 31: Lagos, Nigeria

Our next stop was Lagos, Nigeriaโ€™s largest city, located in the inland from the Gulf of Guinea. It is home to a thriving tech community. A increasing number of startups, co-working spaces, and technological centres, including as the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), are located in the city.

The cityโ€™s large and youthful population, with over 21 million residents and a median age of 18, is one of the elements driving the expansion of Lagosโ€™s tech scene. This has resulted in an extensive pool of both tech talent as well as tech customers.

We were over the moon to meet many serial hackers and finalists of our virtual hackathons finally in-person. An incredible number of developers showed up to our 400 person meetup in Nigeria, many proudly rocking our merch, such as Scaling Ethereum or HackFEVM. The diversity and quality of questions asked, the interest and enthusiasm in the room that was so palpable, had us smiling from cheek to cheek everyday.

Kartik Talwar and Jacob Willemsma

๐Ÿ“† For the full schedule breakdown of our week in Africa, please see the blogpost that our frens from Bankless Africa kindly posted here

๐Ÿงต You can also check out this thread by charliecodes for minutes & quotes for the individual sessions at the Lagos meetup here

๐ŸŒ Thank You

Memories from ETHCapetown 2019 ๐ŸŒˆ

As you probably can tell, we truly cherish our unforgettable time in Kenya & Nigeria with all of you.

The biggest thank you goes out to our community and all the individuals that travelled, in many cases long distances, to be with us and discuss topics that have the power to lead us to a brighter future onchain. It was a privilege to learn about the Kenyan and Nigerian community from everyone. We hope to be back in the near future!

๐Ÿ˜ Join the #africa channel on Discord

Our ETHGlobal Discord server has its own cozy nook for everyone based in Africa, or who is interested in whatโ€™s happening in the African community, look out for the channel #๐ŸŒ | africa-chat and join the conversation.
Become a member of the server: https://ethglobal.com/discord

See you soon,
The ETHGlobal Team ๐Ÿ’™

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ETHGlobal

Onboarding thousands of developers to the Ethereum ecosystem. Supported by L4, SV Angel, and the Ethereum Foundation.