(Ecofin Agency) - The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio (pictured), inaugurated last week, Africa's first-ever national digital identification system based on blockchain technology.
This system developed by the National Civil Registry Authority (NCRA) guarantees every Sierra Leonean a forgery-proof identity. It is the result of a partnership signed last year between the country, the United Nations and the US non-profit organization KIVA, which specializes in financial services.
The project is being implemented in two phases and should have its second phase completed by the end of this year. The first phase concerns the digitization of identities. The second concerns the use of the digital identity created as a nationally recognized unique identifier, called a national identification number, which cannot be duplicated or reused.
The identifier thus created constitutes a unique reference source for each citizen. According to Julius Maada Bio, with the new national digital identification system, financial service providers are now able to effectively verify the identity and, ultimately, the credit history of a customer wishing to open an account or access a loan.
At the public service level, the system will effectively combat corruption, fictitious public servants and the fraudulent granting of social benefits. The Head of State welcomed the fact that the system protects in a strictly confidential manner the data of each person residing in Sierra Leone stored on NCRA servers. He believes this project reflects his country’s desire to become a hub of innovation and a nation ready for new opportunities for inclusive governance and development.