Global software and hardware titan, Microsoft, is partnering with Africa Infrastructure Development Group (Africa-IDG) to work on some applications of blockchain technology locally.
They partnered with who?
Africa-IDG is a building company and the description on their website state:
A group of the best architects, builders, designers, and furnishers. We build everything from low-cost, affordable, upmarket contemporary houses to high-tech factories. Our family of companies will take your idea for the perfect home or building and turn it into a timeless masterpiece.
The press release shared by Africa-IDG shows that this blockchain project will focus on the “build industry”. This means the solutions will have something to do with the construction industry and it will be interesting see what comes out of Microsoft and Africa-IDG’s cauldron.
Conversation with individuals in government and key stakeholders is already underway. We contacted Africa-IDG in order to understand some more details about the partnership.
We asked two questions specifically; Is there a specific focus area in this partnership and Tatenda Chifamba, CEO of Africa-IDG, told us:
Blockchain applications have been integrated into government functionality in Dubai which promotes transparency. Around 12 government departments in Dubai are already migrating to blockchain.
We have started a discussion around working with tertiary institutions, various government departments and private sector players in Zimbabwe and we are already in the final stages of officially launching a developers’ forum to discuss, share relevant global information and have an indepth look at blockchain in the financial services market, blockchain in the education and health sectors and other sectors of interest. Dr Abdul Haseeb (Blockchain Engineer at Microsoft) has worked with the EU and has helped UK, Sweden, and other European countries to integrate their systems and functionality around the use cases of blockchain technology. His mission here was to work with our Chief Technology Officer Dakarai Mshoperi and the Africa-IDG developers team to explore areas of interest using other countries as case studies.
In terms of a specific timeline as to when we can expect some blockchain goodies Mr Chifamba was reluctant to commit to a date for now.
What about RBZ?
Well, our central bank is only concerned about cryptocurrencies and they are not sceptical of the blockchain technology as a whole. In fact, the central bank seems excited about the blockchain technology if you take cryptos out of that equation.
This is not Microsoft’s first foray in blockchain partnerships. Microsoft has been making attempts at embracing Blockchain technology and this is not the first of such partnerships.
Back in February, Microsoft embarked on a project they hoped would enable users to store and process their digital identity. This blockchain would mean that users no longer have to store thei information on online services as the online services would instead access this data from the blockchain. Developers and services would access user information but not have the burden of having to control it or pass it on to other services.
In June, Microsoft ventured out again and announced a partnership with Ernst and Young focusing on content rights and royalties management. The hope with this project is that it will streamline the process of paying royalties to copyright holders and the execution would be through a smart contract.
Microsoft has not given any updates on both projects since announcing them but it is clear that they still maintain enthusiasm for blockchain technology. Hopefully the partnership with Africa Infrastructure Development Group will be a success.