In April the Ethiopian government confirmed that it had signed a deal to create a national database of student and teacher IDs using a decentralised digital identity solution. The deal involves providing IDs for 5 million students across 3,500 schools which will be used to store educational records. This is the largest blockchain deal ever to be signed by a government and has been making waves in the crypto-asset industry. I believe that the deal marks a watershed moment for the use of blockchain and the crypto-asset industry, and for African economies because it offers the promise of blockchain being used for real socio-economic change. The deal means that blockchain technology will be used to provide digital identity to millions of Ethiopians. Digital identity – missing in most African countries – is the first step to real financial inclusion, which in turn has been shown to carry a host of benefits. What makes this promising is that it is the first main blockchain project focused on serving the African market with goals that align with developmental agendas set out under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as the African Union Agenda 2063 goals.
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