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₿trust Africa Expansion: Qala Partnership

Martin Walker
Sep 6, 2023 at 11:53 am

₿trust, a forward-looking and visionary non-profit organization, backed by none other than the illustrious co-founder of Twitter, who now goes by the name X, and the indefatigable advocate of Bitcoin, Jack Dorsey, is set to embark on an exciting journey of expanding its multifaceted programs across the vibrant continent of Africa, in what can only be described as a watershed moment in its history.

This remarkable non-profit has, in a bold and strategic move, made headlines by acquiring Qala, a highly specialized organization with an unwavering dedication to the noble cause of training and nurturing the talents of Bitcoin and Lightning Network engineers specifically within the African landscape. This acquisition is not just a mere transaction; it represents a pivotal milestone in ₿trust's unwavering commitment to catalyzing the development and education of Bitcoin open-source engineers hailing from the diverse and promising regions of the Global South. This monumental step forward was disclosed through a joint announcement that resonates with the spirit of collaboration and progress.

As part of this transformative transaction, which was expertly executed and successfully concluded on September 1, Qala, the organization now under ₿trust's visionary wing, will undergo a strategic rebranding process, emerging as the reinvigorated ₿trust Builders Programme. Born in the crucible of 2021, Qala has been tirelessly engaged in the noble endeavor of identifying, nurturing, and expertly aligning African software developers with global Bitcoin enterprises, diligently equipping them with the most cutting-edge and pertinent skills required to navigate and thrive in the dynamic expanse of the global Bitcoin ecosystem.

The website announcement regarding Qala's rebranding. Source: QalaThe website announcement regarding Qala's rebranding. Source: Qala  

The impact of Qala's efforts cannot be overstated; they have fostered one of the most vibrant and robust online communities of Bitcoin developers on the entire African continent, spanning over an impressive 42 countries. Among the shining stars of this initiative are countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, which have been at the forefront of this transformative journey. Graduates from Qala's intensive training programs have not only landed coveted positions at renowned firms such as the innovative Bitcoin-native banking platform Galoy, the revolutionary Lightning-based messenger Sphinx Chat, and the game-changing peer-to-peer platform Bitnob, but have also been recipients of prestigious open-source grants generously bestowed by ₿trust and Superlunar, further fueling their trajectory of success.

In a move that symbolizes the unity of purpose and vision, the acquisition brings with it the esteemed leadership of Qala, as CEO Femi Longe and program manager Stephanie Titcombe join the ₿trust team, assuming pivotal roles as program leads at ₿trust Builders.

The significance of this union was not lost on ₿trust board member Ojoma Ochai, who expressed their immense pride in welcoming Femi and his exceptional team into the ₿trust fold, acknowledging Qala's rapid and impactful strides in advancing open-source development in the Global South.

Let us also cast our minds back to the genesis of ₿trust, an organization that was unveiled to the world in February 2021 by none other than the enigmatic Jack Dorsey himself. With an initial endowment of a whopping 500 BTC, a sum equivalent to $23.7 million at the time of its announcement, the non-profit initially set its sights on supporting teams in Africa and India. Alongside Dorsey's pioneering contributions, ₿trust also had the privilege of receiving funding from the crypto-friendly maestro of rhyme, Jay-Z. Presently, the organization is guided by a distinguished board of directors, featuring luminaries such as Abubakar Nur Khalil, Carla Kirk-Cohen, Obi Nwosu, and the aforementioned Ochai, all of whom continue to steer ₿trust toward new horizons of innovation and impact.

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