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UN Advises Kenya to use Blockchain in Fight Against Corruption

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has advised the Kenyan government to leverage technology to fight corruption. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, the East African country ranks 137 out of 180 countries for corruption. The least corrupt countries are at the top of the list. Kenya has been struggling with massive corruption in the public as well as private sectors.

Main loophole: manipulation of the procurement system

According to audit reports, the country’s main corruption loophole lies in manipulating the procurement and other transactions. This leads to an exponential increase in the cost of doing business in the country. Experts believe that embracing blockchain technology will enable the full traceability of transactions. It will also help in identifying illicit activities or malfeasance.

Blockchain technology is the solution, suggests the UN.

David Robinson, UNODC East African region anti-corruption advisor, says, “Any app that uses Blockchain solutions makes the purge on corruption and economic crimes easier to trace.” He further adds that online trust can become a key asset for building confidence in transactions among strangers and the government. Blockchain technology can facilitate developing effective, accountable, and transparent institutions while reducing bribery and corruption.

Massive corruption in Kenya and around the globe

Several reports from the Kenyan Office of Auditor-General suggest the country’s taxpayers could be losing as high as 1 trillion in Kenyan Shillings. Philip Kinisu, Chairman of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, said in 2016 that a third of the nation’s budget is lost to corruption every year. It could be attributed to the country’s lack of equipment and interest in technology. Moreover, the World Bank estimates $5 trillion, which is lost in paying bribes worldwide. In other words, this amount constitutes a massive 2% of global GDP.

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Hopefully, the Kenyan government will embrace blockchain technology, and we’ll see a dent in corruption numbers. Only time will tell.

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