Kenyan taskforce calls for state to regulate AI and blockchain

Kenyan taskforce calls for state to regulate AI and blockchain
Kenyan taskforce calls for state to regulate AI and blockchain


A Kenyan task team has called for the country’s government to invest in blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure and skills — and to regulate the two technologies.

It follows the release of a report (opens as a PDF) last month by Kenya’s Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce.

Kenya’s Business Daily reported in an article on Wednesday (31 July) that the taskforce last week presented the report to ICT cabinet secretary Joe Mucheru.

Effective regulation of the technologies, the taskforce said in the report, will both balance citizen protection and private sector innovation.

The task team has recommended that the government introduce a digital fiat currency and spearhead the development of solutions like blockchain-powered land registries, to fight corruption.

Among several other recommendations, the task team called for the government to:

-Help draft a digital asset framework that will enable Kenyan citizens to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

-Create a digital locker (complementing a digital ID) for every citizen to securely store official documents like credit reports and birth certificates.

-Use blockchain to track agricultural produce from end-to-end (from seeds to marketplace) and to use AI and analytics to detect fraud, trace unsafe products

-Distribute farming subsidies through a blockchain controlled agri-token

-Introduce blockchain technology to enable customers to trace the supply chain of medication

-Develop a health token incentive to reward citizens who maintain a healthy lifestyle.

-Use blockchain supply-chain networks to flag and report counterfeit goods.

The task team was set up last year by Kenya’s ICT ministry and is led by academic and former ICT permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo.

Its 14 members are comprised of experts who work for companies like Safaricom, Cisco, IBM Research Africa, the African Development Bank as well as tech entrepreneurs and consultants.


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