UK-based Technology Charity Organization, Kiva, is implementing blockchain to create an online ID database in the African Country of Sierra Leone. The move will ease the process of providing loans and banking aid to its population.
Reportedly, Schan Duff, Vice President of Strategy for Kiva with Sierra Leone President, Julius Maada Bio, established the system in the capital free-town on Wednesday. Kiva provides for loans as small as $25. Nevertheless, it creates a huge impact on these nations.
Since the country is under-developed there is isn’t much financial system in it. People have had to resort to community banks and micro-finance lenders. These organizations are controlled locally and charge extortionate interest rates.
President Bao noted at the launch,
“This visionary step here today guarantees that Sierra Leoneans are not excluded from … the global digital economy,”
The country is riddled with Ebola and social problems. The colonial justice system delays cases for 5-10 years. Their women face extreme injustice, and there is a huge barrier for entry into business for locals. Hence, a blockchain-based incorruptible banking system could provide a tremendous push to its growth.
The blockchain-based system would introduce a biometric scan of fingerprints to authenticate identity. Moreover, the President aims to include all banks and micro-finance institutions in the system. The countrywide database would promote businesses across the country.
David Sengeh, Head of Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation, told the media,
“A national platform … means that companies, institutions, and whoever can verify that what I’m saying about my loan history is (true). Anyone can fake a drivers license, but not a system like this.”
Nevertheless, the road to development and financial inclusion will be slow given the country has limited access even to the internet. Reportedly, less than 15% of people in the country have access to the internet.
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