Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the President of Sierra Leone, recently announced a countrywide digitisation programme that aims to make the West African nation Africa’s first ‘Smart Country’.
The programme is a partnership between the government of Sierra Leone, blockchain solutions provider RippleNami and Data Edge Revenue, a Sierra Leonean systems integration company. The initiative will advance legacy ICT systems using RippleNami’s patented blockchain technology platform that will enable the country gain entry into the global market as well as expand its economic independence.
In an announcement at the United Nations General Assembly, Dr. Samura Kamara, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs described the programme as “a quantum leap towards digitising a national program, empowering Sierra Leone to obtain economic independence and aggressively compete in global markets while elevating the prosperity of its people.”
He went on to say, “For the first time in our nation’s proud history, Sierra Leone, in partnership with RippleNami, will deploy the blockchain-data visualisation system solution that enables Sierra Leone to generate, own, collect, analyse and transact data on a nationwide scale – making Sierra Leone Africa’s first ‘smart country’.”
The first phase of the collaboration will be a nationwide economic identification service. The identification initiative will give Sierra Leonean citizens digital credentials and create a collection system that is aimed at boosting access to services offered by the government as well as promoting financial inclusion. The implementation is ongoing and is expected to be rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2017.
In an interview with ETHNews, Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, RippleNami’s President and CEO, said:
“For the first time, Sierra Leone’s private sector entities and government bodies will have the data to enter the global market on an even playing field. While data is the currency of today’s global economy, modern analytical tools increase its value tenfold by making resource management much more effective and efficient. The integrated RippleNami visualisation technology makes it easier for consumers to access valuable scarce resources and services, while helping businesses and government agencies make better allocation and distribution decisions in a shorter amount of time and with greater transparency.”
RippleNami’s data visualisation platform that uses blockchain technology allows citizens and companies to generate, collect, analyse and transact data. The adoption of cloud computing and blockchain technology, as well as the advancement of mobile lifestyles in Sierra Leone, will allow Sierra Leone to sidestep legacy ICT system and make basic services easily accessible, scalable and affordable. The system will be utilised by municipal courts, government ministries as well as private businesses.
Sierra Leone’s collaboration with RippleNami to deploy blockchain technology solutions to better its services for its citizens is one of the largest implementations of the distributed ledger technology that underlies the digital currency bitcoin on the African continent.