Decentralized digital identifiers and the use of blockchain to identify millions of people in Africa

With a population of more than 1.3 billion, Africa accounts for more than 16% of the world’s population. However, the continent still does not provide its residents with legal or government-issued identity documents. Some research has shown that up to 400 million Africans do not have accurate identification documents.

Lack of necessary documents leads to problems
Unfortunately, the lack of a national identity document makes it impossible for many people to access financial services, participate in national referendums and even cross national borders. To help reduce the number of people caught up in such a situation, the African technology organization Flexfintx has created a virtual solution to this problem – digital identities.

To understand how digital ID cards can overcome a lack of identity, Bitcoin.com the news came as Victor Mapunga, chief executive and co-founder of flexfintx, was interviewed via email.

Bitcoin.com news (BCN): first, Can you briefly tell me what motivated you to start this company?

Victor Mapunga (VM): in 2018, after returning to Zimbabwe, I tried to open a bank account at a local bank and was surprised that I could not give them a certificate of residence, which is part of the documents required to open an account that most people do not have and is difficult to prove.

I went from bank to bank collecting the registration forms and they all needed solid documentation to prove it. Over the next few months, I examined the people in the bank rooms and asked how long it took to open a bank account. For some, it was months because they lived in the countryside and had to go back and forth if their papers were missing.

I later learned that more than 400 million people in Africa face this problem and are excluded from the wider financial ecosystem. Flexfintx was born.

BCN: why do you think digital ID cards are a panacea for this global problem of not using or not using identity documents?

WM: instruction

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