On Thursday 23rd July, 2020, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) signed a partnership with FSD Uganda (FSDU) and CryptoSavannah for the deployment of blockchain technology to enhance Uganda’s SIM card registration and verification process.
Over the last 5 years, Uganda has made great strides with its SIM card registration and verification process. In this process, UCC has worked closely with NIRA, OPM and the Telecom operators to ensure that all SIM cards in Uganda are matched with corresponding identification documents. This has streamlined the management of SIM cards, and realized several benefits including increased financial inclusion and mitigation of crime in Uganda.
Today @UCC_Official signed a partnership with @fsduganda and @CryptoSavannah to pilot blockchain technology to address the challenges of SIM card registration and verification in Uganda. @UCC_ED @MoICT_Ug pic.twitter.com/RbrWz179wP
— CryptoSavannah (@CryptoSavannah) July 23, 2020
In spite of the progress however, the process is slow, excludes many people, has been prone to fraud, and can be further developed as critical infrastructure for Uganda’s digital economy.
According to CryptoSavannah:
“In the SIM card management process, blockchain technology will be able to reduce friction and fraud, improve KYC, improve regulatory supervision and offer better security of identity.
On top of addressing these challenges, blockchain also helps to secure identity (digital identity) , which is the foundation for Uganda’s digital economy.
Improved SIM card registration and verification will also lead to better KYC for the financial sector in Uganda, and unlock the potential for open data markets.”
In an effort to further secure and improve the management of SIM cards, UCC is investigating the deployment of blockchain technology for SIM card registration and verification. This will be carried out as a pilot project between UCC and other industry stakeholders, working in collaboration with FSDU and a Ugandan digital transformation company, CryptoSavannah. Other stakeholders will include NIRA, the Telecom network operators, OPM, URSB, UNHCR and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
As Uganda enters the digital economy, SIM cards will have an increasingly important role as key components of the infrastructure in the new digital economy. By using blockchain for SIM card registration and verification, Ugandans will be able to securely transact in the digital economy, and participate in the myriad of opportunities made possible through open data markets.
The partnership comes one year after the UCC Executive Director, Godfrey Mutabazi, endorsed the blockchain technology following a partnership between the UCC and Crypto Savannah, the leading blockchain and crypto education and ecosystem firm in Uganda.