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Kenya to deploy AI and blockchain to weed out corruption

Kenya banks on AI and blockchain to tackle corruption

Kenya's blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) taskforce has concluded intensive market research and given priority to the application of these technologies to curb corruption.

The taskforce presented a report Emerging Digital Technologies for Kenya: Exploration and Analysis to the ICT ministry, and the immediate focus is to apply the technology to ensure transparent transactions within government processes.

"Corruption is perhaps the biggest obstacle to our nation building endeavours, and technologies such as blockchain and AI are emerging as effective tools to deal with the scourge," said Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary for Information Communication and Technology.

The report also proposes the use of these technologies in digital asset management, to ensure credible elections, facilitate financial inclusion, reduce transactional cost through digital currencies and improve general service delivery.

"For example, creating a blockchain-based land registry would considerably improve the citizens' ability to prove land ownership (and provide access to credit). It would also reduce the corruption that is prevalent in the existing system," said Bitange Ndemo, chairman of the taskforce.

"In the education sector, AI exhibits the potential to improve learning outcomes by supporting the delivery of personalised virtual lessons," he added.

The report advises that government introduce a regulatory sandbox as a primary step for innovation, that multi-sector partnerships be established to facilitate cross-collaboration and secure the buy-in of the private sector by demonstrating official investment in the new technologies.

Authorities are also advised to create a 'brain trust' to manage all the emerging technologies.

According to Mucheru, the report will be used to guide some of the government's policies as early as possible.

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