Input Output Hong Kong, or IOHK, is helping the Ethiopian government use blockchain technology to reshape its education system.
The research and development department behind Cardano is leveraging its expertise to provide the Ethiopian authorities with a new system for student and teacher identification, digital grade verification and remote monitoring of school performance. With IOHK’s Atala PRISM-ID, authorities can create a fraud-resistant record of educational achievement for five million students in 3,500 schools. It will also enable the Ethiopian government to mitigate locations and causes of underperformance in education.
John O’Connor, the director of IOHK’s Africa Operations unit, called Ethiopia’s blockchain-based education system an “important milestone” for his organization. He explained:
“After five years of R&D, Cardano is now mature enough to support a blockchain solution that can scale to serve an entire national population.”
IOHK believes that the current blockchain-based transformation of the Ethiopian education system could also be extended to post-secondary institutions, especially in the application of digital verification.
Ethiopian Education Minister Getahun Mekuria commented on the initiative:
“We believe blockchain represents a significant opportunity to end digital exclusion and broaden access to higher education and employment.”
Africa has been one of IOHK’s main development goals over the years. In 2019, the organization launched a new training initiative in Ethiopia and Uganda to teach women to code in Haskell, the primary programming language behind Cardano. In addition to local initiatives, Africa is a central part of IOHK’s vision to provide financial services to the world’s population without a bank, which is estimated at approximately 1.7 billion.
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson believes Africa will play a significant role in the implementation of blockchain infrastructure over the next five years. He expects to have several headquarters across the continent during that period.