Earlier today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone, Dr. Samura Kamara, proclaimed to the United Nations General Assembly: “Today we announce a quantum leap towards digitizing a national program, empowering Sierra Leone to obtain economic independence and aggressively compete in global markets while elevating the prosperity of its people.” To accomplish this, the West-African nation has formed a partnership with San Diego-based RippleNami. “For the first time in our nation’s proud history,” continued Kamara, “Sierra Leone, in partnership with RippleNami, will deploy the blockchain-data visualization system solution that enables Sierra Leone to generate, own, collect, analyze and transact data on a nationwide scale – making Sierra Leone Africa’s first ‘smart country.’”
RippleNami specializes in taking large data sets and making them easy to understand. By connecting users to millions of real-time data points through a map-based, graphical interface, RippleNami’s cloud platform connects people to information that is related to their neighborhood, city, and even underdeveloped regions. In addition to the Sierra Leone government, RippleNami is also collaborating with Data Edge Revenue, a systems integration company focusing on bringing digital advancements to Western Africa, headquartered in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
This collaborative effort will begin by creating a nationwide economic identification service. The identification program will provide digital credentials to citizens, as well as establish a collection system aimed at increasing access to government-provided services and overall greater financial inclusion.
President and CEO of RippleNami, Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, told ETHNews:
“For the first time, Sierra Leone’s private sector entities and government bodies will have the data to enter the global market on an even playing field. While data is the currency of today’s global economy, modern analytical tools increase its value tenfold by making resource management much more effective and efficient. The integrated RippleNami visualization technology makes it easier for consumers to access valuable scarce resources and services, while helping businesses and government agencies make better allocation and distribution decisions in a shorter amount of time and with greater transparency.”
Through RippleNami’s proprietary software, blockchain transactions will help users detect patterns and identify new trends in shorter timeframes. When applied to a nation like Sierra Leone, nearly every sector or industry can increase in value, as the nation attempts to leapfrog its legacy information communication technology, and jump headlong into the still-emerging era of blockchain technology. The initiative also includes a unique service deployment model, which will allow for easier adoption of services and the overall platform. Government ministries, municipal courts, and private businesses will all be utilizing this system.
This represents one of the biggest blockchain integrations in West Africa to date. As the technology continues to awaken dormant human assets like time and attention, we should expect to see its effects connecting more and more physical places to the global digital economy.