“Hack the Mara” Competition Launched To Tackle Last Mile Payment Challenges

Pan-African blockchain platform, Mara has announced the launch of the “Hack the Mara” open to African creators and developers to provide sustainable solutions for last mile payment challenges.

By Staff

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The Pan-African blockchain platform Mara has announced the launch of the “Hack The Mara” competition, which will run from September 17 to September 26, 2022. The competition is an initiative in line with Mara’s commitment to inspire developers to build the future of Africa on Web3.

The Mara Hackathon aims to inspire participants to develop decentralized applications that offer long-term solutions for tackling last-mile payments. The solutions prototyped 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.  The top 8 teams will be invited for a physical hack in the Mara where they will be hosted at Ishara, located in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

“Deployment of these smart technologies is going to be transformative and impactful in many diverse respects, from uplifting and empowering communities to the preservation and conservation of our wildlife and nature. Together with Mara, we are excited to pioneer these efforts. We look forward to welcoming brilliant creators to our camp and enabling them to experience the magic of Ishara and Mara,” said Azhar Madhani, Co-Founder of Ishara.

Kate Kallot, Co-Founder and Chief Impact Officer at Mara highlighted the importance of the competition saying, “Blockchain for social impact is at the heart of everything we do at Mara. Through our non-profit foundation, our aim is to empower problem-solvers to build blockchain solutions which promote long term beneficial, social and environmental change in Africa.”

“Blockchain has the potential to take financial services and last mile payment solutions to new heights. With a direct focus on solving real local challenges, these innovators may create globally relevant solutions and drive the future of finance.” added Chi Nnadi, co-founder and CEO at Mara.

Circle, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin and also a partner of the competition emphasized that this will challenge developers to use blockchain via USSD and M-Pesa for payment transparency. 

Sandra Persing, VP of Developer Relations, Ecosystem Relations and Ecosystem Marketing at Circle said, “Developers are core to what we do at Circle. We hope to see more technical breakthroughs that make financial services more inclusive, efficient and scalable. We are excited to give African innovators an opportunity to build solutions that may change the world and certainly the world of finance.”  

The winning solution will get the chance to enroll in the Antler Nairobi program, where they will continue to develop their idea into a company and possibly secure funding. Antler is a global early-stage VC and start-up builder.

A panel of judges will evaluate the contestants on their originality, inventiveness, analytical prowess, strategic thinking, and practical application. The top ideas will also be given possibilities for follow-on funding by Mara Foundation and/or its partners, as well as awards and prizes totaling up to $100,000.

The deadline for registering for the “Hack The Mara” competition is August 5th. Interested innovators and developers from all over the continent are encouraged to register via https://marafoundation.org/hackathons

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