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Waya Collective; creating a new economy in Africa, on Cardano

The Waya Collective is working towards creating a “New Economy together”.


Founded by Antonia Lorenz, and co-founded by Carolin Baltzer, and Matthias Guilbert, the Waya Collective is the first RealFi (DeFi) production network on Cardano, enabling a new economic model for Africa.

A model that is sustainable, inclusive, and efficient. Currently, the main sources of imported fashion products in Africa are generic and expensive.

This raises a problem because Africa is currently dependent on imported products that are disproportionately expensive, and do not fulfill the level of demand, arising an opportunity for new methods of development to optimize the potential in Africa and the diaspora.

Currently, throughout Africa, the manufacturing potential is largely untapped. With the combination of millions of small producers, a massive growing workforce, and an abundance of natural resources, these provide the perfect conditions for a manufacturing revolution.

Waya is aiming to be a network of autonomous collectives. An autonomous collective is a production facility that receives standardized inputs in the form of instructions, training, equipment, and materials. From here, the collective supplies the local markets, which are located and built to undertake the process in the most efficient way possible. The collective is owned by the entrepreneurs and workers participating from within. This creates a strong fundamental value for the Waya Collective network.


What’s the problem?

“In the fashion industry, we see a lot of problems that can be solved with blockchain.
One problem is that as a small production it is impossible to compete. By joining our DAO, it is possible.
Another problem is the transparency of value chains. Having all transactions inside the production on a blockchain, this will no longer be a problem. That way it is easier to optimize or to prove sustainability.
The third problem is trust between the actors. With blockchain, it is possible to build a trustless system.
The last problem we see is liquidity. Especially in developing countries, it is difficult to get access to money to invest in growth. We will have a liquidity pool that allows investors all over the world to provide money. “ - Carolin Baltzer, CFO of Waya Collective

Why Cardano? Proof of Stake and Community.

When asking Waya why they chose Cardano, they said because of Cardano's ‘Proof of Stake’ protocol called Ouroboros. It has been designed by a team of cryptographers from five academic institutions and led by Professor Aggelos Kiayias of the University of Edinburgh.

Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed, verifiably secure, blockchain protocol, and Cardano is the first blockchain to implement it. Ouroboros enables the Cardano network’s decentralization, and allows it to sustainably scale globally without, crucially, compromising security. The core innovation of Ouroboros is beyond being provably secure. It uses a rigorous cryptographic model, having a modular and flexible design, allowing the composition of many protocols to enhance their functionality.

“With proof of stake, transactions have a way smaller environmental impact than transactions on blockchains based on proof of work. Also, the transaction costs on the Cardano blockchain are very low, which is an advantage. Formal verification and peer review: We believe in the sustainability of this development method.” - Carolin Baltzer

Waya Collective also chose Cardano because of the community.

The Cardano community is globally diverse, multicultural, and numbers in the millions. The Waya Collective is aligned with the community's values and felt that this was the best place to make their mark.

“Cardano offers several ways to support startups that build RealFi projects in Africa. We think that this is an environment where we can grow best.” - Carolin Baltzer

The Waya Economy provides:

Instant liquidity:

  • A lack of liquidity and available funds is unarguably one of the biggest problems in African economies. By deploying the massive capitalization of Cardano in local manufacturing, Waya can help solve this problem.

A decentralized and inclusive network:

  • Power and profits are extremely unequally distributed in common global supply chains. Since all parts of the Waya value chain are part of the same, democratic system. Through the decentralization of power the dependencies on just one brand will be minimised which will prevent exploitation.

Local production for the local market:

  • Waya is building the infrastructure to power production at the point of demand, and at the source of natural resources. Production capacity is determined by demand and efficiency.

How the Waya Economy is Sustainable:

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  • By minimizing shipping, minimizing Co2 emissions, and fast reaction to demand minimizing overproduction. There is no disconnection between consumption and the negative environmental impacts. They incentivise local production, so that the majority of the supply chain will be local. This is scalable because the knowledge remains not local but centralized.

How the Waya Economy is fair & inclusive:

  • Distributed power and local ownership, profit participation throughout the system so that everyone can take part in the work; and the consumption/creation of sustainable jobs and economic growth.

How the Waya Economy is cost efficient:

  • Waya, minimizes shipping costs, no import taxes, fast to market and reaction to trends minimizes waste because optimized to serve demand.


How Waya is connected to the SDGs:

The United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action by all countries. This enables countries to create global partnerships that work towards achieving these goals. The goal is to achieve the SDGs, which are built upon decades of work by countries and the UN.

Blockchain technology is a key technology for the SDGs because it enables stakeholders globally to have the ability to track, record, and share data that is immutable, timestamped, and verifiable. The traceability of data can only be proven from data that is added on chain.

The Waya collective is directly connected to 7 of the 17 SDGs. They are focused on No Poverty SDG1, Zero Hunger SDG2, Decent Work, and Economic Growth SDG8, Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure SDG9. Waya does this by helping create good jobs, and access to capital. Also, connecting to Climate Action SDG13. By building a production system with short distance transportation routes. Waya is also promoting Quality Education SDG4, and Gender Equality SDG5 by educating women, and men. With a strong focus on empowering women in Africa, and the Diaspora.


Road Map:


The First Waya Brand Collection:

Made in Uganda:

At Waya they believe as a network, “we can bridge the gap and unleash Africa’s manufacturing potential”. Ultimately helping provide “liquidity, unifying standards, coordinating demand, introducing a new way of manufacturing”.


Project Catalyst Fund 6:

Project Catalyst allows anyone who wants to build on Cardano a chance to receive funding to bring their idea to life.

Catalyst is the world’s world’s largest decentralized innovation fund.

During Catalyst fund 6, Waya Collective received funding from the Cardano treasury, via community voting power. This enabled the Waya team to continue building and developing the Waya Collective model, found in this white paper.

Waya Collective White Paper

Project Catalyst Fund 8:

The Waya Collective is participating in Project Catalyst Fund 8. The Waya Collective is a project with a grand vision with a multi-angle approach to achieve their vision.

They have created three proposals that all go hand in hand.

“Work towards the same goal: creating a new, decentralized economy together!”

1. Getting Companies on Chain!:

2. Leapfrogging Industrialization:

3. From factory to meritocracy:


Interested in joining the Waya ISPO?

The Waya Collective is currently preparing an ISPO to finance their first production facility.

If you want to learn more, visit their pages, and get involved.

Help out, by joining the Waya mission on creating a democratic, sustainable economy!

Their stake pool ticker is WYACO.

Waya asks if you're interested in their project or would like to support the team, to reach out; and join their channels on Discord, Twitter, and Telegram.

Come along and join the community calls where Waya discusses how to build a truly fair and sustainable production system from different perspectives.

To follow and learn more about the Waya Collective:


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