Hong Kong-based blockchain research and development firm IOHK announced in a press release CoinReport received from Wachsman, IOHK’s PR firm, a collaboration with the government of Ethiopia to look into possible applications of blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the country.
In partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology, IOHK will work with startups, businessmen and ministers to explore DLT applications that can be useful to the African nation.
Ethiopia, the second most populous country on the African continent, is examining a first use case of supply chain traceability for coffee, its largest export, among other agricultural technology applications.
Dr.-Ing. Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia’s minister of science and technology, said in the press release we received, “Today is a great day in Ethiopia. The Ministry of Science and Technology and IOHK are collaborating in researching an area of application to use their blockchain platform Cardano to be built upon by Ethiopian developers.”
IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson commented, “We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology and exploring new ways to innovate, such as in the agri-tech business, and other entrepreneurship in the blockchain space. We’ll be working with a lot of partners on the ground and have a lot of hope that Africa will be the next great venture for IOHK.”
IOHK will also provide free training to up to 100 Ethiopian software development students in Haskell. Used for mission-critical applications and DLT development, including the protocol behind cardano, one of the top ten digital currencies, Haskell is a rigorous programming language. The first group of students will be women. IOHK’s industry development team in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and researchers in IOHK’s Blockchain Research Lab at the University of Edinburgh will be teaching the courses.
Industry demand for programmers with know-how of Haskell is rapidly increasing due to the computer language’s compatibility for DLT applications. IOHK intends to offer full-time programming jobs to the school’s most promising graduates.
Hoskinson stated, “We are also training local blockchain developers, some of which we will hire, while the rest will go on to plough their skills into the economy. The first class will be all female, and the goal is to have graduates of that class move on to create ventures in the cryptocurrency space using Cardano technology, the first venture of its kind in Africa.”
It will be the third time IOHK has provided Haskell training, after the company first offered it in Athens, Greece, in July 2017 and then in Barbados in February this year.
IOHK director of African operations John O’Connor is coordinating the Ethiopia initiative out of Addis Ababa.