The partnership is expected to accelerate the growth of projects funded by Cardano’s innovation engine, Project Catalyst. Start-ups will be provided with venture-building skills and resources to develop products that address real-world problems in Africa.
NEW BLOG: Today we’re delighted to formally announce the launch of #ProjectCatalyst’s Africa-focused Ariob Incubator program, in collaboration with @iceaddis, a pan-African business incubator, and accelerator hub🌍 https://t.co/c1pQrNWsus
— Input Output (@InputOutputHK) April 6, 2022
The Ariob incubator will be open to all Africa-focused projects. It currently has nine African-based initiatives on board, including WADA and Waya Collective. Cardano’s focus on delivering cutting-edge initiatives in Africa may help the company’s ecosystem grow more quickly in the future.
Cardano in Africa
In late February, John O’Connor, IOHK’s director of African operations, announced the first round of loans to Kenyan SMEs, highlighting the incoming potential of Cardano’s RealFi.
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson revealed that the company intends to launch peer-to-peer (P2P) lending in Africa this year, beginning with Kenya. This, he believes, is part of a larger effort to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries.
Last year, Input-Output Global (IOG) collaborated with the Ethiopian Ministry of Education to help five million Ethiopian students verify their academic credentials with Atala PRISM technology, which is built on Cardano. IOG is also collaborating with World Mobile in Zanzibar to use blockchain technology to connect the unconnected and provide access to essential online services.
Cardano’s parent company, IOHK, described these collaborations as a “launchpad” for Cardano’s goal of building RealFi in a blog post. IOHK defines “realFi” as “real finance that is focused on people who genuinely need new ways to access finance, producing the real value that DeFi frequently lacks”. It also aims to deliver attractive returns for crypto holders and cheaper credit/financial goods for real people.