WISeKey International Holding Ltd intends to establish a Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence in Rwanda. The Center will deploy a “Trusted Blockchain as a Service” platform to enable the creation of a Blockchain Ecosystem in Rwanda. The project is part of the broader Smart Africa initiative with 17 countries already on board and embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution. This represents a market of about 360 million people.

WISeKey will work with experts from industry, government, and academia to address businesses’ most relevant Blockchain opportunities with practical, standards-based solutions. This dedicated Center of Excellence will conduct research, rapid pilot prototyping, co-creation of use cases and IP creation on Blockchain technology and platforms. The Rwanda Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence will recommend a National Blockchain Platform to facilitate enterprises to swiftly adopt Blockchain based solutions and services.

The Rwanda Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence will help position the country as a key and active player providing access to policy, technical and business expertise. WISeKey will be cooperating with local companies participating at the Center of Excellence, building points of view, proof of concepts, policies, educational materials all the distributed ledger capabilities across different Blockchain schemes (public, consortium and private), with industry verticalization and domain specialization (IoT, transactions, messaging, etc.), underpinned by the best underlying technologies from startups, our key partners and from the community.

Hon. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Youth & ICT, noted, “This initiative is in line with President Paul Kagame’s vision to leverage information and communication technologies for transformation and growth, while ensuring wins and gains for citizens.”

Minister Nsengimana added, “To succeed in making African homes, offices, schools and cities smart, we have to harness opportunities in exponential technologies. These technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, big data, internet of things (IoT), Blockchain, and 3D printing.”

At the center of this initiative, WISeKey will be localizing a WISeID Blockchain in Rwanda. WISeID uses Blockchain as a public, immutable ledger that allows third parties to validate that the original digital identity or attribute certifications provided by a third trusted party has not been changed or misrepresented. Keeping control of digital identity is key to protecting user’s personal data. Each WISeID node gets a copy of the WISeID Blockchain and gets downloaded automatically upon joining the WISeID network. Through the WISeID Blockchain application, users are always in control of their digital identity stored on their mobile device, IoT sensor and/or computer. The user determines which identification attributes are shared with social media, credit card companies, merchant sites etc. so that they never disclose the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) if not required or necessary.

“Rwanda and its government are to be commended for their vision and action to establish the country as one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world,” said Carlos Moreira, Founder and CEO of WISeKey. “We strongly believe that the Blockchain/IoT Center of Excellence will enable dramatic increases in business volume and efficiencies. Establishing Rwanda as a Blockchain/IoT service hub will provide benefits across many industries and encourage technological developments that can serve the continent.”