The BSV blockchain ecosystem’s Blockchain for Government Initiative recently completed a historic week-long official visit to Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan, at the invitation of and under the patronage of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Transformation. The visit centred around Sudan’s first-ever Blockchain Summit & Workshop, a two-day event held April 8-9 and led by the BSV blockchain ecosystem. The conference and surrounding meetings explored how blockchain technology can advance digital transformation as the country rebuilds and re-emerges after 30 years of isolation from much of the world.
The Blockchain for Government Initiative is led by Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based non-profit organisation that works to advance use of the Bitcoin SV blockchain, protocol and distributed data network. The Initiative works with government bodies, NGOs and public sector agencies to advance large-scale implementations of blockchain technology for the benefit of citizens, including through the delivery of e-government services, tools for greater financial inclusion and improved transparency, as well as applications that foster public good for municipalities and entire countries.
The Blockchain for Government Initiative brought an international delegation to Sudan, led by Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen (USA) together with Ahmed Yousif, co-founder of Black Stone Data Solutions (Yousif was born in Sudan and now lives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). They were joined by CEOs and founders of blockchain businesses working across a range of industries, spanning healthcare, supply chain management, financial services and smart cities, along with senior representatives from Bitcoin Association.
Blockchain Summit & Workshop
The Blockchain for Government Initiative organised the Republic of the Sudan’s historic first-ever Blockchain Summit & Workshop, which was held at the Al Salam Hotel in Khartoum on April 8-9 under the patronage of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Transformation. The event welcomed government officials, business leaders and university students to learn how blockchain technology can build better digital infrastructure and grow the domestic economy through diverse use cases – including identity management; e-government services; public records; financial inclusion; Islamic finance; auditing; natural resource management and sustainability; smart cities; supply chain and cargo tracking; health care data; educational/professional certifications; and better transparency.
In addition to the two-day Blockchain Summit & Workshop, the BSV delegation was also invited to separate meetings in the offices of the Central Bank of Sudan; the Ministry of Telecommunication & Digital Transformation; the Ministry of Interior Affairs; as well as at SudaTel (one of Sudan’s leading telecommunication companies, partly owned by the government) and the 249 Startups hub for entrepreneurs in Sudan.
Speaking during an interview at the conclusion of the two-day Blockchain Summit & Workshop, Hashim Hasabelrasoul Hashim, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Transformation for the Republic of the Sudan, said: “The event was very great, very informative. The first-ever time in Sudan to have a blockchain ecosystem team to visit the country. People were very interactive, very excited about the event and I think that there will be many more to come after this event.
“Having the [BSV] blockchain ecosystem in Sudan itself is a huge success for us. Having the engagement with the experts with our team members – with the ministry, with the industry – private and government entities to promote working together in different groups to work out what is next.”
Hashim also explained why blockchain technology can be so impactful for the Republic of the Sudan during this present period: “In Sudan, we are in a transition period after thirty years of sanctions and thirty years of a bad regime. Now we are in a transition period in which we want to reform our country and reform the government. Digital transformation is a key pillar in this reformation. We are working on building a national strategy for digital transformation that aims to change the government from manual to digital, to make sure that the government will be more efficient, smarter, more in control and more transparent,” he said.
“I can clearly see a role for blockchain throughout different verticals within the government; digital identification is one of many, financial inclusion, digital certifications and many more to come, where we can benefit from blockchain. We want to be the first and lead on this technology in the country because it will enable us to really depend on real data that is secure.”
Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen, commenting at the conclusion of the trip, said: “Blockchain can help us to build a better world and our trip to Sudan left us feeling even more inspired to make that vision a reality. On behalf of the global BSV ecosystem, we were honoured to lead this first-ever blockchain delegation to the Republic of the Sudan and extend our sincere thanks to Minister Hashim and the entire team at Sudan’s Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Transformation for their warm hospitality and ambitious vision for the digital future of their country. As we explore opportunities for initial blockchain projects in Sudan, we know that BSV’s massive scaling and focus on data network capabilities can provide the blockchain power needed to advance digital transformation for Sudan and greater Africa.”