Btrust Builders kicks off inaugural fellowship for Bitcoin developers in Africa

The fellowship, Btrust Builder’s first since it acquired Qala, is expected to train African software developers on Bitcoin open-source development.

Btrust Builders kicks off inaugural fellowship for Bitcoin developers in Africa
Image source: Btrust Builders | Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock.

Bitcoin talent development firm Btrust Builders has announced that the first batch of its fellowship for 2024 began yesterday, January 22.

Fifty-five software engineers are expected to participate in the inaugural fellowship for three months.

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The details

  • In a press release shared with Mariblock, Btrust Builders said the developers who are participating in the training program passed through a series of interviews and tests before they were selected.
  • The fellowship runs part-time, with the participants earning remuneration determined by their active participation and timely completion of monthly tasks.
  • Per the press release, the developers in this cohort will participate in daily stand-ups, written updates, technical article writing and mentorship, among others.
  • According to Btrust Builders, the software developers under its previous cohorts were engaged full-time and paid as such. In addition, all 12 participants in the first cohort got job placements after completing their fellowship.
  • The firm further said that the faculty members of the current batch were graduates of the previous programs, adding that it has employed their firsthand experience to address previous shortcomings.
  • In a conversation last year, a participant of the first cohort, Jennifer Ezeobi, told Mariblock that she would have loved to spend more time working on open-source Bitcoin projects.
  • This spurred questions on whether the fellowship’s three-month timeframe was enough to train the participants, especially since similar programs last up to a year.

Key quote

  • The press release reads in part:
“Btrust Builders is excited to announce the commencement of its January 2024 fellowship cohort. The cohort, consisting of 55 carefully selected fellows, is set to kick off on Monday, the 22nd of January 2024.”
  • Btrust Builders’ program lead, Femi Longe, speaking on the importance of the fellowship, said:
“The fundamental problems around the exchange of value that bitcoin addresses are out of the realm of reality of people in the West who are foreigners and thought leaders in bitcoin. We need to build real-world applications to strengthen the network.”

Before now

“Open source is not really a thing that engineers in our part of the world [Africa] typically consider as a career path ... The problem of [Africans] not being in that group [Bitcoin developers] is decisions can be made around the technology that do not match our own technical reality or our own cultural reality.”
  • However, Qala had challenges with funding, relying entirely on grants.
  • Btrust, a fund by Jack Dorsey and Jay Z, acquired the firm to enhance open-source development in the Global South further.

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