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Sierra Leone hopes to create the "Credit Bureau Of The Future" with the financial assistant of funding from the United Nations. President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone announced a partnership with the technology focused nonprofit Kiva.


"Sierra Leone will now modernize its Credit Reference Bureau and radically transform its financial inclusion landscape."


Funding will come from the U.N. Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP). The primary concern is to address the country's millions of citizens who have no credit history or formal identity, which prevents from from gaining access to financial services.


Identity Issues


1.7 billion adults are unbanked and unable to access the financial services globally. This prevents them from building improvements in their lives and their families. The two major barriers to accessing financial services are lack of formal identification and verifiable credit history.


"Through this implementation, Sierra Leone is setting out to build one of the most advanced, secure credit bureaus. It could serve as a model for both developing and developed nations in the future and has the potential to radically change the landscape of financial inclusion…” - Xavier Michon, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCDF.



Kiva Protocol


Kiva has a proprietary distributed ledger technology (DLT) system that will be used to give every citizen in Sierra Leone secure and complete ownership of their personal data and information. But the group is not like most other startups in the fintech space. They have been at work for 13 years gaining crowdfunding from over 1.7 million users. They have provided more than $1.2 billion in loans for people in over 80 countries. Their DLT will facilitate and record these transactions. They hope to have the entire system in place next year.


Deeper Implications


Their Kiva’s lending platform, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, or use the money to attend higher education. Kiva also works to address the systemic issues that keep communities from accessing the financial services they need.


United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) - this group facilitates public and private finance work for the world’s poor in 47 countries. They offer the instruments needed for "last mile” - meaning reducing poverty at the domestic level to reduce poverty and support local economies.



By: BGN Editorial Staff

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