Emerging Digital Technologies for Kenya EXPLORATION & ANALYSIS

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Recently with the leadership of Prof. Bitange Ndemo chairman of the distributed ledgers technology and artificial intelligence task force, under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology released a report touching broadly on emerging digital technologies and the opportunities they bring to the common mwananchi.

In summary the report reviews digital technologies in a critical and contextual manner. In consideration of the role of digital technologies in delivering the Kenyan Government’s Big Four Agenda of affordable housing, universal healthcare, manufacturing, food security and all the related value chains.

It provides a road map on how these technologies can promote and enhance government services, including overall public service delivery, job creation through the Ajira Digital Program, cyber security, trusted single digital identity (Huduma Namba), financial inclusion, reduction of transactional fraud, land titling, promotion of democracy, the election process, and the precepts of a sharing economy.

Having read the report ,I can say the future is really bright bringing with it fortunes for those who are worthy, hence I saw it fit to give my two cents critic on this amazing report and touch on some few points of which from my point of view affects Kenyans if not the African continent.  The use of Block chain and AI technologies could be trans formative across things like Corruption, Unemployment, and healthcare.

world corruption index.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/02/least-corrupt-countries-transparency-international-2018/

Corruption “is perhaps the biggest obstacle any nation building endeavors, and technologies such as block-chain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are emerging as effective tools to deal with the scourge. There is every reason to believe that through the application of emerging technologies including block chain, corruption will be defeated. Block-chain is a distributed-ledger technology that will certify records and transactions without the use of a central database and in a way that cannot be erased, altered or tampered with. As noted by the World Economic Forum, Block chain and AI provide an unprecedented level of integrity, security and reliability to the information it manages, reducing the risks associated with having a single point of failure. It eliminates the need for intermediaries, cuts red tape and reduces the risk of arbitrary discretion. It also makes it possible to track and trace transactions. The immutable trail of transactions can be used bylaw enforcement and government auditors .”

“ A crazy fact in  Denmark being the least corrupt nation in the world If you lose your job, the government will continue to pay 90% of your salary for up to TWO YEARS!  “  now who doesn’t want this.”

Unemployment  A potential risk posed by the advancement of AI is the elimination of human jobs. AI is likely to replace lower-skilled workers. Labour displacement is more likely to occur in developing countries if upskilling programs and new jobs are not developed at a rate that compensates for the shift brought on by AI. At the same time, there is potential for AI to create new sources of employment overall, albeit mostly in higher skilled roles. But in hindsight  the report talks about Tokenization of the Economy – Ajira Platform

. “Tokens have been used for centuries under different names. A good example is a share certificate (a piece of paper representing the ownership of an asset). These papers are essentially tokens representing an asset. In the past, it was very difficult for many people to risk their hard-earned income as an investment in exchange for a mere piece of paper. Very few people had the information required to understand how this worked. It was an exclusive club for a select, privileged few.Blockchain is about to become disruptive by creating a more inclusive world of investment.”

 This will mean more startups to get capital hence creating more employment opportunities.The Digital Hustle Program is expected to increase the Kenyan economy by at least KSh 184 billion. As part of this initiative, the Ajira program was established to get more people working online under the following broad objectives:

Increase Awareness:

Make the possibility of online work more widely known among the unemployed, remove the stigma of online work and make it a viable career choice.Increase Capacity: Provide incentives, facilities, mentoring and training to make Kenya an online work powerhouse through various initiatives and innovation techniques. Measure and Reward Success: Create systems, procedures and opportunities to recognise success in online work and provide appropriate recognition and scaling support to successful groups and individuals.

Payment Facilitation and Systems:

Create innovative financial systems, payment methods, work insurance and guarantees to ensure that workers are provided with some of the security, stability and support they would have in traditional employment environments.

The immediate source of sustainable jobs is creating a local ecosystem of digital workers and employers. This calls for massive digitization efforts by both the public and private sectors. The Kenyan government is particularly focused on digitizing all of its operations. Tokenization of labour Blockchain technology and its provision for tokens enables  key objectives of the Ajira program.The Ajira platform will be built on the Ethereum Blockchain to permit inter-device, inter-person inter-service settlements and payments. Businesses will use the platform to offer Blockchain-enabled products that are secure, transparent and accountable.

Healthcare the kenyan government wants  to ensure a universal health care service for all households that is affordable . The exponential growth of Blockchain applications can benefit health, medical records and patient-generated data. Newer applications, particularly those that enable tracking pharmaceuticals, will help the government deliver healthcare efficiently and save the taxpayers money  that are usually lost through theft of drugs. More importantly, such systems can eliminate circulation of counterfeit drugs and ensure that patients receive the right medication.

A good example is a company like MyDawa although private aim to make it easier and safer to order health and wellness products that can be delivered straight to your doorstep.

Overall this report is truly a roadmap to what the future brings , as much as things like AI seem grim there is still time and opportunities that we can mint from and as the government shows zill and  interests in adopting this new technologies, it goes to mean that more sectors will be open to the general public bringing employment ,improved  healthcare services  reduced food insecurities and generally a healthy and wealthy nation.

Finally my reader, either as a tech enthusiast an entrepreneur or student ,reading this report will help in guiding you as it has me in what I can do so as to not be left behind in this coming fourth Industrial revolution,

You can get the full report here

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