Kenyan Official Says Country Should Tokenize The Economy

September 26, 2018 10:03 PM

Some government officials in the East African country think blockchain technology can help fight corruption.

The citizens of Kenya have long been forced to deal with corruption in almost every aspect of their daily lives.

There have been many reports of judges and other government officials allegedly demanding bribes in return for favorable outcomes in court cases. The Kenya National Police Service is said to be the most corrupt institution in the county, and even officials from the Kenya Wildlife Service have been accused of neglecting their duties, leading to pervasive poaching.

In an effort to fight corruption in Kenya, Bitange Ndemo, chairman of Kenya’s Taskforce on Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence, wants the government to „tokenize“ the Kenyan economy, according to a September 26 article from Kenyan news outlet The Star.

Kenya’s Taskforce on Distributed Ledgers and Artificial Intelligence is a government-funded entity that helps assess proposals on how to use blockchain technology in the government and public sector.

Making his suggestion while speaking at a meeting of the Information and Communication Technology Ministry (ICT), Ndemo said the tokenization of the economy would help alleviate „increasing rates of corruption and uncertainties“ and would also „reduce unemployment levels.“ 

Ndemo also emphasized that if a tokenization of the Kenyan economy occurs, the token should be the „digital currency equivalent to a Fiat.“

According to the article in The Star, in July the task force presented the idea of developing a central bank digital currency to the ICT. For now, the project is on hold. Ndemo claims, „Of course it will come, but we first want people to understand use of tokens.“

As for next steps, according to ICT head Jerome Ochieng, „The government will facilitate relevant policies to help regulate recommendations from the taskforce.“

This is the second time in two months Kenya has looked to blockchain technology as an antidote for corruption. In August, ETHNews reported that Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which conducts post-election reviews, had described 14 ways to reform Kenya’s election process. One of the suggestions made was the adoption of blockchain technology that would give presidential candidates the ability to access election results in real time; the measure was intended to increase the transparency of results and alleviate suspicion of corruption. 

Nathan Graham is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews. He lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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