Technology company Input Output, creators of Cardano and Atala PRISM, have focussed on the African continent since 2017. CEO Charles Hoskinson spoke about IOHK's vision for Africa's crypto future.
The #CardanoAfrica event saw new partnerships being announced, Education deals that will benefit 5 million Ethiopian students by bringing them into the Cardano ecosystem, and a new joint venture to build a new telco network in Tanzania. These two projects mark the beginning of Cardano's mission in Africa.
Charles Hoskinson, Dynal Patel, Gerasimos Fragiskatos, and John O'Connor from IOHK discussed with David Piling of The Financial Times how blockchain technologies could bring inclusion, identity, and opportunity to Africa, enabling a new generation of entrepreneurs to drive change.
Hoskinson's focus is developing countries instead of economically sound and developed countries because that's where the demand for change lies. Instead of focussing on the same pattern of empowering countries that are already leading, the idea is to compete differently.
The greatest demand for blockchain technology over the next few decades will be in places like the continent of Africa and the subcontinent of India; it won't be in the United States, and they will have to catch up.
The population is far younger than that of the states, and new technology is adopted far more quickly. The idea of an underdeveloped Africa is true to an extent. The innovations of today will help the infrastructure of tomorrow. Africa's need for infrastructure can be fulfilled with the inventions of today.
Ethiopia: the biggest blockchain deal ever
IOHK has partnered with Ethiopia's Ministry of Education to create a blockchain-based digital identity for 5 million students and teachers, making it the biggest blockchain deployment anywhere in the world. Ethiopia is only the beginning.
Africa is hungry for solutions, and using Cardano with Atala PRISM, Africa will create structured solution applications such as banks, insurance, and utilities. Working with the ministry of education, blockchain technology will help create a nationalized recording system to verify grades, monitor performance, and boost nationwide access to education.
The demand for such a technology is high; IOHK is servicing a demand that already exists. Stepping up from paper-based identities to digitized identities has beneficial use-cases such as maintaining medical records to decentralized agricultural supply chains.
Trustlessness And Transparency To Build Trust
The core idea of the products being launched is to enable digital trust. Atala will be giving control and ownership to users. A central agency will not control their data, and there is no reason to give up their trust while handling or sharing their data.
Atala PRISM's will be enabling the creation and verification of decentralized identifiers (DIDs) using the Cardano testnet. The identity of the user will not be dependent on their reputation but rather on their merit.
The IOHK team believes that the technology will boost entrepreneurship using a framework that will be the same, no matter what economic background the user is from. The potential to change systems through technology and tackle economic crises is a very real possibility.
The Future Of A Digitized Africa
The team believes that Africa's potential in AI and advanced robotics can enable them to become a world leader in the industry. The partnership with iCog Labs and SingularityNET will leverage advanced technologies such as AI, blockchain, and machine learning to support African scientists and technologists.
Africa, having an under-30 population of 70%, brings hope to entrepreneurs like the team at IOHK. It's a recipe for radical and dramatic changes over the next couple of decades. Being at the right place at the right time opens up a cornucopia of possibilities.
This is what makes IOHK so tremendously optimistic about their African project. If done right, it will change the lives of over a billion people. Africa is the best place to sell what they have due to the overwhelming demand from a predominantly younger generation. The future looks bright for Cardano Africa.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.