TechInAfrica – Sierra Leonean government is scheduled to launch a blockchain-based national identity system soon this year. The new system will enable its citizens to grants access to approved institutions in order to assert, verify identity, as well as build credit histories. This upcoming ID card system is announced by the country’s president, Dr. Julius Maada Bio.
The government has developed the National Identity Platform (NDIP) in collaboration with the United Nations and Kiva, the financial services non-profit organization. The implementation of the NDIP is reported to be implemented in two steps.
Explaining the steps, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, said: “First, we will digitize identities. Second, we will use that digital identity as the unique nationally recognized identifier called the National Identification Number that is non-duplicating and non-reusable, around which the credit reporting and lookup apparatus are built as well as a unique source of reference for every service delivery in the country.”
The President said that the first step had been completed while the second one would be completed by the end of 2019.
According to the President, the new national digital identity system will enable financial services providers to verify identity as well as the credit history of a customer who wants to open an account or access a loan.
“Access to credit and financial services can significantly improve the lives of citizens by making citizens more financially resilient. Further, it will strengthen and expand the private sector, the backbone of any modern economy,” he added.
“For the first time in Sierra Leone, there is now a pathway for farmers in rural communities, for instance, to access the capital needed to invest in their farms, increase production and therefore improve their earnings.
“For women, young persons, and persons with disabilities, meaningful financial inclusion is now possible through this new national digital identity platform. They now have an opportunity to engage in entrepreneurship in an increasingly digital economy,” the President concluded.