Kenya, East Africa –Proving land ownership through title is a complicated business that lends itself to corruption in many countries all over the world. However, a team has been assembled to use blockchain technology to put an end to land grabbing in Kenya.
Kenya Aims to Legitimize Land Ownership Using Blockchain
Kenya is oftentimes referred to as the ‘Silicon Savannah’ of Africa. It is considered to be a technological giant in the African continent. And yet, something as simple as processing a land ownership title can be riddled with issues due to corruption throughout the government.
Instances of ‘double ownership’ of land are quite common in many African and developing countries where property is an indicator of wealth and officials can be easily bribed to change documents. This problem, however, will soon see its end after Kenyan Minister of Information Joseph Macheru has put together a team to investigate how blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to stop land theft.
Advocates of creating this blockchain-based title directory claim that establishing land titles on a decentralized distributed ledger will help build trust to the authorities. Macheru said a blockchain platform would provide “security, efficiency and transparency”.
The project’s team leader Bitangee Ndemo said in an interview
“We missed the Internet wave, caught up with mobile technology… blockchain is the next wave – and we must be part of it,”
Kenya isn’t the only country in Africa that struggles with land ownership issues. A large number of former colonial countries had land titles created under the colonial power, which became unclear after independence.
70% of the World’s Population Could Benefit from Blockchain-powered Land Titles
Although land disputes are more common in poorer nations, it is a problem that affects everyone all over the world. According to the World Bank, 70% of the world’s population does not have access to proper land titles. Sweden, however, saw a way to improve their highly digitized record-keeping system with the help of blockchain in 2017.
Sweden’s land registry authority, Lantmäteriet, completed a two-part experiment to move land records to a private blockchain network with a ready to work date in 2019, during which other public entities will also begin the same process.