The Government of Sierra Leone plans to fully adopt a blockchain-based national identity system by the end of 2019.
The new project has strengthened the country’s blockchain technology, which had been used to carry out presidential elections in 2018.
In partnership with the United Nations, Sierra Leonean President, Julius Maada Bio, says the new infrastructure will allow financial institutions to verify identities and create credit histories for their customers.
The new project, called the National Digital Identity Platform (NDIP), is a collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the non-profit, Kiva, a key technology partner based in San Francisco and Sierra Leone since September.
According to the report, the NDIP will be implemented in two main phases. The first relates to the digitization of identity.
The second should be completed by the end of the year and involve the creation of non-repeatable, non-reusable and generally recognized national identification numbers.
The president said access to blockchain’s financial and credit facilities could significantly improve the lives of citizens of the country and make them more economically resilient. He said the new national identification system “directly translates into citizens who have access to affordable credit for business investment.”
President Maada Bio emphasizes the platform’s high-security standards, stating that each resident’s data will be stored with the national civil registry and kept strictly confidential, in accordance with international norms and practices.
He also notes that the platform’s ability to write new data modification records is one of the key advantages of implementing blockchain technology. With elections and digital identity, blockchain will become a multisectoral solution in Sierra Leone, with more than 85 per cent of the population having no access to the internet and at least 75 per cent having no bank accounts.