African countries have always been the early adopters of fintech. Emerging technology has been at the forefront of major solutions across the continent. More recently, IOHK announced its big plans in what it says is the biggest blockchain deal in history.
Solve problems with emerging technologies
Despite the common idea that Africa is lagging behind in technological innovation, the continent is home to many cutting-edge technology start-ups and solutions.
For example, in Kenya, M-Pesa has been revolutionizing cell phone banking since the 1990s. This product has made it easier to send money and access it to unbanked people. Meanwhile, South Africa has emerged as the region’s fintech hub. Cities like Cape Town are fertile ground for new start-ups.
When it comes to cryptocurrencies, adoption has not been so enthusiastic. However, despite some regulatory setbacks, exchanges like Luno have grown from year to year. In February, Nigeria became the second largest bitcoin market in the world after the United States.
Cardano launches blockchain projects in Africa
When it comes to blockchain technology outside of cryptocurrencies, however, the biggest announcement recently came from IOHK.
The company plans to implement a variety of projects. It will use its blockchain to improve services in countries like Ethiopia and Tanzania.
Blockchain for education in Ethiopia
IOHK has partnered with the Ethiopian government to transform the education system using its Cardano smart contract platform.
As part of the deal, students across Ethiopia will be given a Digital Identity (DID). These metadata contain all the information on their academic performance throughout their schooling. It uses Atala Prism technology integrated into the Cardano blockchain.
IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson explains how this will benefit them later:
âWhen these millions of students graduate, as they enter the economy, this infrastructure can eventually be used to buy property, to pay, to vote and all other matters in their economic life. .
The system is revolutionary because it follows each stage of a student’s academic development.
A student who achieves the best grades in mathematics throughout their school life in a traditional school system, but fails to obtain their final paper, risks not entering the university of their choice.
This has ripple effects that can seriously harm their future. With DID, that one-shot system is replaced by a holistic view of their capabilities.
This system also protects against fraud or manufacturing. The trustless system of a blockchain makes it immutable and easily accessible by anyone.
Ethiopian Education Minister Getahun Mekuria, responsible for digitizing Ethiopia’s education system, explains how the DID system will follow:
âYou can’t really get someone’s level of comprehension by just taking a test twice a year or once a year. One thing we have decided is to have a digital identification (DID) for our students, with a particular focus on high school. So we started providing digital IDs to all of our grade 12 students. “
Mekuria believes blockchain is the only system that could facilitate their ambitious education reform strategy.
âI don’t think other technologies can really work at that level of analysis, that level of precision, that level of privacy and that level of security,â he says.
Cardano live review
As positive as the Ethiopian government and the IOHK seem, there are some harsh criticisms of their past dealings.
Ethiopian businessman Kal Kassa called Cardano’s work a “scam” in a blog post. Additionally, he calls Hoskinson a “snake oil salesman.”
That’s because Kassa doesn’t believe IOHK and Cardano’s plans will come to fruition. It refers to a lack of concrete legal measures taken by the company in the country in the past.
Kassa also accused IOHK and Hoskinson of undermining Ethiopia’s international economic prospects.
“While he may not directly deal with Ethiopia’s foreign currency, he indirectly contributes to my country’s non-existent role in global finance and a childish ethic of ethnic borders beyond human rights. Kings.”
However, the recent Cardano deal was announced after the publication of this blog post. While Kassa is referring to the Cardano Africa conference, there is no evidence to say that the system will not be implemented so soon after the release of the plan.
Despite these criticisms, Cardano is doing everything in its power to make promises to these African countries. Mobile technology and healthcare deals are also on the table.
The global digital health platform, Ask The Doctor, plans to move from Ethereum’s blockchain to Cardano’s.
Ask The Doctor allows users to earn crypto by learning basic healthcare. They can then use what they earn to pay for doctors and drugs. Part of the reason for Ask The Doctor’s move is due to Cardano’s strong presence on the African continent.
They have also partnered with World Mobile Group to provide essential services to Tanzania and Ethiopia. Businesses are working together to bring a sustainable internet to Tanzania through renewable energy.
Together, they will provide affordable network nodes based on the Cardano blockchain infrastructure.
These network nodes will act as local relays for Internet connectivity. It will also allow subscribers to access the identity solution used in Ethiopia, but instead of education, it will allow them to access services such as digital banking.
Projects for the future
Much of Hoskinson’s vision for the African continent lies in his belief in the continent’s acceptance of new technologies. He considers that demand is greatest in developing countries, which makes them the best countries for this type of innovation.
In a YouTube video on the way forward for Africa, Hoskinson explains that big powers like the United States will not be where the growth of this technology will come from.
âSo if we sayâ¦ where will be the greatest demand for the type of technology that we are building over the next 10 years 20 years 30 years, it’s going to start in places like the African continent,â he explains.
âIt’s all on the table, new voting systems, new real estate systems, new payment systems, new ways of identifying people, new ways of trading securities,â he says.
It remains to be seen how exactly all of these projects play out, but Cardano is making a great effort that is exciting for an often overlooked continent.