A new report by Kenya’s blockchain and artificial intelligence task force recommends that the country should leverage blockchain for government service delivery to enhance efficiency and trust for citizens.
The report entitled “Emerging Digital Technologies for Kenya: Exploration and Analysis”, explores how Kenya could leverage emerging technologies such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of things (IoT) to enhance national development.
In the report, blockchain is identified as a tool to transform public service delivery in Kenya. It urges the government to provide a single-source-of-truth for all government documents and services and make public service delivery more transparent and efficient at all levels.
The report, which was conducted by the Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Task Force, gave a number of important recommendations. One of the key recommendations is that the government should develop a digital assets framework to support funding of projects through ICO (initial coin offerings). This will enable local investors to put their resources in cryptocurrencies underpinned by the utility of local resources.
Joe Mucheru, minister for ICT said:
‘It’s indeed bold and interesting to hear your team recommend to (Kenya’s central bank) governor to not only set up a framework for Digital Currency, but also by so doing, be the first ‘Digital Currency’ governor of the world’
It’s worth noting that central banks around the world are already planning to create new digital money, called central bank digital currency (CBDC) to promote adoption of digital currencies. So enabling cryptocurrencies would be a great way for Kenya’s central bank to step in and guide the trajectory of digital currencies in the country to protect consumers and ensure stability. Though it maintains a sense of skepticism.
The report also proposes blockchain and AI deployments in governance to fight corruption and impunity. This could be achieved by developing tamper-proof systems such as land registry on the blockchain to prevent fraud. It also proposes using distributed ledger technology and AI to improve the integrity of national elections by enabling real-time tallying of poll results.
Next, it advises the Kenyan government to combine efforts with the private sector and create a national payment gateway based on blockchain for all digital payments, including mobile, ATMs and banks. Not only will the system reduce costs, but it will also enable financial inclusion by bringing financial institutions to work together closely to redefine the future of their industry.
Other recommendations include developing a digital database for secure storage of official documents as well as utilizing blockchain for tracking agricultural produce from end to end to reduce fraud and ensure the safety of food products.
Additionally, the report suggests that Kenya’s healthcare could be transformed through cost reduction, greater patient privacy, and better drugs traceability. The health sectors will also benefit from an improved way of ensuring the integrity and security of medical records.
Lastly, the report highlights land titling as a possible area of application, where blockchain can be implemented to improve security and usability. A blockchain-based land titling system would eliminate land fraud menace in Kenya by making it more transparent to transfer ownership of property in addition to other benefits.