On October 25, Nigeria became the first country in Africa to introduce a digital currency, with the launch of the eNaira. Since then, Nigerians have been conspicuously reluctant to embrace the eNaira.
It has been a huge task for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ensure that the digital currency it created is adopted by Nigerians. One of the steps they took was to open up a hackathon.
Recall that TechEonomy reported that the eNaira hackathon by CBN and Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) was in a move to drive financial inclusion, facilitate macroeconomic growth, and integrate the Nigerian economy into world-leading economies through innovation and cutting-edge emerging technologies.
According to Daniel Awe, Head of AFF, 5,000 participants from the finance community applied for the hackathon and were cut to roughly 175 teams. 70 will head to the quarterfinal pitching.
He stated that 20 teams would be chosen for the finals, with the top ten receiving assistance to increase eNaira adoption in the country.
He claimed that the country needs to embrace eNaira more widely since it benefits economic activities, helps the digital economy, and increases financial inclusion.
He said, ”so the hackathon is a platform where innovators, developers, entrepreneurs, coders come together, to solve problems, to create innovative ideas.”
”When we layer that on eNaira, it means we brought in different players within the ecosystem – developers, coders, innovators, entrepreneurs, to come up with different ideas, different use cases, that they can leverage on eNaira.”
”This is so that the consumers of eNaira will now see the benefit of eNaira, they will have the opportunity to see the problem that eNaira will solve,” he added.
Awe stated that the CBN’s role was simply to provide a platform for fintech startups and entrepreneurs to use to develop solutions that would benefit the whole financial services industry.
He said ”Now, these top 10 potential businesses when they come out of the final of the hackathon, there is a cash prize for them.
”I think number one is going to get 5 million eNaira. Number two is getting 3 million eNaira. Number three, 2 million, and the remaining, the next ten will get 1 million eNaira.
”Afterwards, those top 10 will resume in the AFF accelerator programme, whereby some of them will get some funding to start up their businesses on their ideas.”
He added that by the time they come up with good business with their innovations, employment would be created and they would increase the adoption of eNaira.