UN calls for blockchain to fight rampant corruption in Kenya

Integrating blockchain technology can help Kenya save billions of dollars lost each year to corruption, the United Nation’s drug and crimes agency has stated. According to the agency, the technology could also foster trust in government and allow automation of public contracts.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) East African region advisor David Robinson urged the Kenyan government to use blockchain to trace economic crimes. In Kenya, the main loophole has been the manipulation of procurement procedures and systems by government officials. These corrupt officials inflate costs at will for their own gain. The East African country’s Auditor General recently estimated that it loses Kshs. 1 trillion ($10 billion) annually to corruption.

This is a challenge that blockchain technology can solve and finally restore the lost trust in the government, Robinson believes.

He stated, “When corruption represents a breach of trust, a technology that strengthens trust becomes an attractive solution in public projects. In the era of the 4th industrial revolution, online trust became a key asset for transactions between strangers and building confidence in government.”

The Vienna-based agency believes that blockchain provides “an unprecedented level of integrity, security and reliability.” It further reduces the risks that come with having a single point of failure. Blockchain also eliminates the need for intermediaries which in effect reduces the avenues for corrupt officials to make selfish gains.

While Kenya has shone as a leader in innovation in Africa, the country’s rampant corruption has remained the largest challenge. The highest offices in the land, including the vice president, have been implicated in mega scandals. The country’s president has even conceded that he is unable to fight corruption.

Blockchain is the solution, Robinson told the Kenyan government. He stated, “Blockchain technology becomes attractive to the global community and international organizations because it is a tool that can be used to potentially prevent corruption and protect public registries from fraud and tampering.”

Kenya has been a leader in digital currency and blockchain adoption in Africa. As per the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index the country ranks 5th globally and first in Africa. The Central Bank of Kenya also recently revealed that it has been involved in a number of studies into CBDCs. Kenya has also seen a rapidly rising number of startups utilizing blockchain to solve perennial challenges, from ride-hailing companies to agriculture-focused startups.

See also: Dr. Craig Wright’s CoinGeek Live presentation, From the Internet to Bitcoin: The Digital Ledger to Advance the World’s Technology Infrastructure

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