• Akhona Damane
    Akhona Damane
    Co-founder, Chair, SANBA

    Mr. Akhona Damane has over 20 years of work experience spanning in ICT, Geo-Spatial Systems, Knowledge Management & Innovation, Climate Change and environmental advocacy, and government policies. He holds a 4-year degree in Computer Science, and is currently studying towards a Masters degree. He recently led the government-funded National R&D and Innovation Roadmap implementation between 2017 and 2021 during which he created partnership relationships with African & EU country-partners, universities, multinationals, startup incubators, NGO, etc. He is the co-founder and the current chair of the South African National Blockchain Alliance (SANBA) [
    ]. He chaired the committee for the South Africa’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR) [
    ]. Mr Damane is a member of the World Economic Forum’s affiliate Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa (C4IR-SA) [
    ]. Akhona also co-founded a Non-Profit Organisation called Innovation Culture for Community Upliftment (or ICCUP), that seeks to train and empower women, youth and people with disabilities (living in rural and peri-urban areas) with skills that include social innovation, entrepreneurship, digital literacy, climate technologies, etc.

  • Bara Greplova
    Bara Greplova
    Membership Manager, Academic & Governmental Relations INATBA
  • Iordanis Papoutsoglou
    Iordanis Papoutsoglou
    Associate Researcher, EUBOF

    Mr. Iordanis Papoutsoglou is an Associate Researcher in the research centre based in Greece, CEntre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH). His educational background includes two master degrees; in business administration and another master in data science. Since joining CERTH in 2020, he has worked for ASSIST-IoT and SHOW projects and actively supports European Blockchain Observatory & Forum activities. His research interests are relevant to the blockchain, data analysis, distributed ledgers, and Internet Of Things.

  • Kristina Lillieneke
    Kristina Lillieneke
    Founder, Blackbird Law
  • Nena Dokuzov
    Nena Dokuzov
    Head of Project Group for New Economy and Blockchain Technologies, Government of Slovenia
  • Nokubalela Mchunu
    Nokubalela Mchunu
    Blockchain Researcher, Government of South Africa


INATBA Online Conference Room


Jul 28 2022


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Blockchain Start-Ups, Innovation Hubs and SMMEs in European Countries

This workshop is organised by the Governmental Advisory Body of INATBA and its work stream on Blockchain Policies & Innovation Ecosystems, which seeks to identify the needs of policy makers (with a focus on the Africa region) in the developing of national Blockchain policies that provides an enabling environment for the growth of local innovation ecosystems, while providing an appropriate regulatory framework that provides protection to citizens in terms of data protection and privacy.

This workshop is focused on blockchain start-ups, innovation hubs and SMMEs in European countries. The idea is to look at landscape of start-ups, innovation hub and SMMEs, their establishment, growth, areas of works within the EU.


Opening: Bara Greplova
Introduction:  Akhona Damane, South African Blockchain Alliance (SANBA)
European blockchain start-up ecosystem overview:  Iordanis Papoutsoglou (EUBOF)
European government role in the blockchain ecosystem: Nena Dokuzov (Government of Slovenia)
EU Digital Identity European Ecosystem regulation and blockchain: Kristina Lilllieneke (Blackbird Law)
Discussion: Questions & Answers from the floor: Moderator: Bara Greplova
Conclusion and next steps: Balela Mchunu, Department of Communications & Digital Technologies, South Africa

Please register for the workshop here.

The event is finished.