IOHK’s foray into developing countries, especially African nations, has been welcomed with delight as the blockchain company announced a partnership with global telecommunications company World Mobile. This cooperation was officially announced during the ongoing Cardano Africa Special and it’s in line with IOHK’s vision to “connect the unconnected”.
At first, the two partners will direct their efforts on Zanzibar and Tanzania. Specifically, they will employ a unique approach to provide reliable internet connectivity to people in the said regions with renewable, solar-powered energy.
Based on the Atala PRISM decentralized identity solution, IOHK and World Mobile will build a network node atop the Cardano blockchain. This node will be utilized by businesses and will work as local relays to offer local internet connection. Users will be required to subscribe through Atala PRISM so as to access the internet connection — and thereafter seamlessly access healthcare, digital banking, education and other vital services.
Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Cardano developers IOHK noted that blockchain technology, Atala PRISM in particular, opens up a whole set of possibilities for people in Africa, according to an April 29 press release.
“We see blockchain as a powerful force for social good. Through our digital ID solution, Atala PRISM, people who were previously unable to verify their identity, complicating and often preventing access to vital services like healthcare will now be able to do so[…] Ultimately, we want to create a global marketplace where everyone has equal access, irrespective of geographical location, culture or background.”
Africa… One of IOHK’s Primary Development Targets
The press release indicates that more than half of the African population (roughly 700 million people) are currently not connected to the internet, which is preventing them from accessing basic services. Through this partnership, the two firms hope to reach these people and help them better access essential services.
As ZyCrypto reported a few days ago, IOHK has forged a strategic partnership with the Ethiopian government to redesign its education system. Similarly, this partnership will be based on the Atala PRISM solution and should allow the creation of tamper-proof records of educational performance of 3,500 schools, 5 million students and 750,000 teachers across the country.
Notably, both alliances (with the Ethiopian government and World Mobile) are a result of five years of work undertaken by IOHK. Furthermore, IOHK has acquired a 10% stake in World Mobile. Hoskinson explained that “taking a stakeholding in World Mobile Group is a further demonstration of our long-term commitment to the African continent.”