[Kenya Business Week] Championing electoral reforms with blockchain
Kenya’s public institutions have this week increased their investments in technology to improve service delivery and address some of the most pressing problems in a development that is receiving thumbs up from both local and international players for its pivotal role in redefining government’s duty to its citizens.
As the country seeks electoral reforms to streamline and enhance transparency in a process that has traditionally been marred by claims of rigging, its electoral body, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission, is considering embracing blockchain technology has already published a public notice citing blockchain among 14 priority areas for electoral legal reforms.This points to the growing formalization of the technology in various ventures from community currencies , mobile transfers and land registry
The Anti Counterfeit Agency, another public institution has also this week received $1.5 million from UK Department for International Development to support digitalization of the agency’s operations and services to allow it fulfill its mandate. This, as the country reels from the devastating effects of fakes which has seen the country enlist the support of economic blocs even as experts call for stiffer penalties on culprits.
The country is also grappling with sim swap, one of the greatest cybercrimes to have been witnessed. The Director of Criminal Investigations has assured the public that the fight against Sim Swap fraud is on course. Kenya is ranked 69th most vulnerable country to cyber crime out of 127 nations according to the the Global Threat Index. Safaricom that has been hard hit by the sim swap debacle is mulling introducing finger biometric to curb the fraud
In the expansion front, Telecommunication company Safaricom has opened a new retail shop in Busia, Western Kenya, to cater for the high demand in the Western Region. This is the latest addition in the telco's retail expansion strategy to meet customer needs which has also included new services including photo IDs to curb MPESA fraud and voice biometrics.
Equity Group Holdings Plc on the other hand has launched its fintech subsidiary, Finserve, signaling a future defined by disruptive innovation beyond the Group’s current financial services. It is the latest strategy to move from brick and mortar banking which has seen it roll out mobile and agency banking, Eazzy banking and revised its model to tap into growing paypal revolution.
This week also saw The Kenya Association of Manufacturers inking a partnership deal with Brand Kenya Board to hasten the uptake and implementation of the Made in Kenya Brand Mark. It is the latest of many partnerships the manufacturers's umbrella body has entered into with other local institutions including Kenya Power, University of Nairobi, NEMA, Safaricom and BAT to improve the business environment for local industries.