Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh Municipality recently declared that it is going to forge ties with IBM to work on a strategic plan about how to integrate blockchain technology in the region. This will be carried out with an objective to create a development formula which will pave the way for better transactions and will reform the government services.
The decision came on the eve of the Government of Saudi Arabia’s plan to improve the municipality services in the region. The government is determined to offer people a better municipality service through an assimilation of advanced technologies with these services. This is what formed a part of the great “Saudi Vision 2030” program undertaken by the government.
The government has outlined the program “Saudi Vision 2030”, to diversify the country’s economy from the oil sector that contributes significantly to the growth of GDP, about 30 to 40 percent. The program was launched by the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in the year 2016 with a broader objective to develop different other sectors including tourism, education, healthcare, military spending, manufacturing, infrastructure etc.
According to reports, with full cooperation from the government, the Riyadh’s administrative division, Saudi tech firm Elm, and IBM are planning to conduct workshops with an aim to upgrade the services using blockchain technology. Coinciding this, the IBM is taking responsibility to develop the first blockchain solution at a municipal level, while Elm is supposed to look after the integration of technology into government’s services.
Tarek Zarg El Aioun, IBM Saudi Arabia’s Country General Manager, mentioned in a statement that the company is confident about the capability of blockchain technologies to bring the change in the country. It hopes that blockchain will work exactly the same manner in which the Internet has transformed the world, the way business and transactions are conducted nowadays.
Further, he stated that this association is a one step ahead in realizing the vision 2030 mission and transforming the way services are offered to its citizens, residents, various businesses and the visitors.
With a vision to create a digital environment in the country as part of their broader 2020 objectives, the government has already conducted a blockchain boot camp in last May with a special focus on developing decentralized applications (DApps) and Ethereum smart contracts.
SAMA the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority also partnered with Ripple last February to facilitate the adoption of Ripple’s cross-border payments technology to banks in the country. This was a pilot program launched by a central bank in the country to use enterprise software solution to easily send payments in and outside of the country in a faster and cheaper manner.
This move will surely create an impact in the country’s economy which has so long been dominated by the oil sector. With a break from the oil sector, this move will help in the diversification of the economy and in the growth of other sectors too.