The Built With Bitcoin Foundation (BWB), a nonprofit organization seeking to provide “humanitarian support, powered by Bitcoin,” has built a technology center in Kumasi, Ghana.
The aptly named “Bitcoin Technology Center” (BTC) will focus on finance and technology education, and aims to “foster a safe environment to learn.” The center’s official unveiling takes place Thursday, on the heels of the African Bitcoin Conference, which is being hosted a few hours away in Accra. BWB is hoping to educate and train at least 400 residents within the first year of operation, according to a press release provided to CoinDesk.
The center’s location is no coincidence. Kumasi is home to one of Ghana’s largest and most prestigious universities – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – ranked 2019’s “best university in Ghana and West Africa” by media firm U.S. News & World Report. BWB hopes the region’s reputation for stellar technology-focused education translates into high interest in the Bitcoin Technology Center’s programs.
“If a community already has a school, but it doesn't have the resources needed, how are they ever going to learn how to use Bitcoin,” said Yusuf Nessary, co-founder and director of BWB, in an interview with CoinDesk. “So we thought to ourselves, what if we build a freestanding multi-room, co-op and incubation center, where community members can come any time of the day?”
The center will offer an introductory Bitcoin course as well as finance, entrepreneurship and computer programming courses. BWB recently collaborated on a similar project – the Bitcoin Ekasi Center – in South Africa. Both projects seek to establish circular bitcoin economies where individuals receive and make payments in bitcoin as they would with traditional fiat currency.
BWB funded the project with support from Ghana’s Edwinase community, Blockchain Foundation Africa, and members of the wider Bitcoin ecosystem. The local communities came together to donate the land, while the structure was built by fellow Ghanians who were compensated in bitcoin.
“It is a peer-to-peer transaction, amongst peers, within the community, with the intention to support … future generations of that community,” Nessary said.