“IT infrastructure” is a central truss for any government plans in the 21st century. The lack of this infrastructure would bring about cracks in government agencies thereby resulting in opacity, inefficiency, and lack of checks on fraud.
In March 2021, the Afghanistan government announced its plan to overhaul and upgrade the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce IT infrastructure. Through collaboration with the Fantom Foundation, it said it intends to digitize archives, establish a digital Central Business Registry (CBR), and integrate a range of blockchain solutions to increase efficiency, eliminate fraud, and bring transparency to its national operations.
The Afghanistan government said this is an intended effort to showcase to the world the country’s fortitude and capacities to adapt and solve major national challenges. It said following the successful demonstration of the software, Fantom and the Ministry will discuss long-term plans for continued development. The administration recognises that the lack of a streamlined, automated, easily accessible secured data process would bring about the lack of transparency.
It noted that the complex processes and fragmented back-office technology platforms utilized by the Ministry have impeded the adoption of automated infrastructure. This is why its agreement with Fantom is to develop a fully functioning prototype that will extend across all Ministry systems and is expected to be completed within four months.
Following the successful demonstration of the software, Fantom and the Ministry intend to discuss long-term plans for continued development as it believes an immutable blockchain databased digitized accounts system will help manage and automate the entire process, resulting in greater efficiencies, visibility, transparency and prevention of fraud.
Barek Sekandari, COO of Fantom Foundation stated that, “This agreement is one in a series of partnerships that Fantom has established with Afghan government offices, and we are thrilled that the Ministry has chosen Fantom to transform their IT infrastructure into one of the most modern systems worldwide. We look forward to scaling with their operations and helping them stimulate private sector growth to improve the lives of Afghan citizens.”
The Afghan administration is hoping this partnership will upgrade the ACCI’s current software, whilst incorporating cryptographic and blockchain tools to provide the new technology advantages. These include the authentication of documentation for Certificates of Origin and Certificates of Quality, adopting Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to audit databases and track changes in real-time, alerting nominated individuals of any authorized and attempted unauthorized modifications. It is of the opinion of the Afghan government that digitizing these interactions would ensure all parties are practicing evidence-based trades, thereby leading to transparency.
“The value of tech-enablement in a ministry’s day-to-day running cannot be overemphasized, our country’s focus would be on upgrading technology in all government parastatals to improve efficiencies, outcomes, and catalyze change. We deserve better than a slow, expensive and disconnected system that flies in the face of economic progress. Through collaboration and public-private partnerships, we can meet these goals over the next couple of years” added the Afghan administration.