Hack the Mara competition now open to African creators and developers to take on last mile payment challenges
In line with its commitment to inspire developers to “build Africa’s future on the Web3”, Mara, the pan-African blockchain platform, announces the launch of the “Hack The Mara” competition which will take place from September 17 to 26 . 2022.
The goal of the Mara Hackathon is to inspire participants to build decentralized applications that provide sustainable solutions for tracking last-mile payments. The solutions developed during the hackathon are expected to strengthen the financial sustainability of ongoing conservation projects in the Mara for better livelihoods.
The competition will take place in five stages, starting online with the final stage completed in person in Kenya. As a world first, the top 8 teams will be invited for a physical hack in the Mara where they will be hosted in Ishara. Located in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, Ishara is an immersive experience dedicated to preserving the wildlife, communities and lands of this globally significant conservation area.
While explaining the importance of the competition, Kate Kallot, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer at Mara, said, “Blockchain for social impact is at the heart of everything we do at Mara. Through our nonprofit foundation, our goal is to empower problem solvers to create blockchain solutions that drive beneficial, long-term social and environmental change in Africa.”
The hackathon in partnership with Circle, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin, will challenge developers to use blockchain via USSD and M-Pesa for payment transparency. “Developers are at the heart of what we do at Circle. We hope to see more technical breakthroughs that will make financial services more inclusive, efficient and scalable. We are excited to give African innovators the opportunity to create solutions that can change the world and certainly the world of finance,” said Sandra Persing, Vice President of Developer Relations and Ecosystem Relations and ecosystem marketing at Circle.
Antler, a global early-stage VC and startup builder, will offer the winning solution the opportunity to join the Antler Nairobi program to further develop their idea into a business and potentially receive investment. Participants will be evaluated by a jury based on originality, creativity, analytical skills, strategic thinking and practical implementation. The best solutions will also receive up to $100,000 in funds and prizes, as well as follow-on funding opportunities from the Mara Foundation and/or its partners.
“The deployment of these smart technologies is going to be transformative and impactful in many ways, from building and empowering communities to preserving and conserving our wildlife and nature. Together with Mara, we are thrilled to be pioneering these efforts. We look forward to welcoming brilliant creators to our camp and letting them experience the magic of Ishara and Mara. Said Azhar Madhani, co-founder of Ishara.
Above all, the most promising solutions will have the opportunity to be tested with local conservancies in the Masai Mara where they can have a real impact on the world. “We look forward to understanding how this technology can make sustainable use of data and help uncover a sustainable finance solution that can benefit local communities to address environmental challenges,” said Victor Ohuruogu, Senior Regional Director for the Africa, at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data. “We are honored to see African technologists come together in our beloved Masai Mara National Reserve to create innovative, data-powered solutions.”
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“Blockchain has the potential to take financial services and last-mile payment solutions to new heights. By focusing directly on solving real local challenges, these innovators can create globally relevant solutions and drive the future of finance,” said Chi Nnadi, co-founder and CEO of Mara.
Registration for the “Hack The Mara” contest will close on August 5th. Interested innovators and developers from across the continent are encouraged to register on the Mara Foundation website marafoundation.org/hackathons.
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