At the first US-Ghana Business Forum, held on July 5, leaders from IBM and the Ghanaian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise an agreement that is expected to be a major catalyst in improving land administration processes in the African country.
Currently, the centralized, paper-based land record system in Ghana is inadequate and fails to allow property to be considered as collateral by banks. Ghanaian citizens are unable to use their property to acquire loans, which adds to the levels of poverty in the country.
Blockchain technology will allow Ghana to modernize and build a computerized, immutable, and verifiable land registry. Takreem El-Tohamy, the general manager for IBM Middle East and Africa, said using blockchain for land administration will also improve security and transparency, reduce fraud, and increase investment and access to capital.
"We are doing this with a group of Ghanaian business partners, ensuring the transfer of know-how and technology," said El-Tohamy.
IBM will work with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to develop a white paper for the implementation plan.
A secondary aspect of the MoU will see enhancement of port logistics and processes. El-Tohamy explained:
"For the ports, investments based on blockchain smart contracts can help advance the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) objectives to improve US-Africa commercial relationship as modern customs and port logistics systems are critical for improving trade facilitation."
Richard Branson and Bitfury's Blockchain Summit, where more than 30 speakers addressed the topic of building blockchain technology in Africa, just concluded in Marrakesh, Morocco. Last month, South African Reserve Bank published the latest results from Project Khokha, which is intended to enable interbank transfers through DLT.