Call for blockchain awareness timely as we attempt to tame graft

Late last month, I attended this year’s Nairobi Tech Week at Strathmore University, on which students, tech experts, researchers, innovation establishments and enthusiasts had converged to share knowledge.
There were various interesting topics inside the Thomas More Building, all with presentations and question-and-answer sessions, as tech brains had a conversation towards a consensus on the bridging of the skills gap in the innovation space in Kenya. But one presentation caught my eye: Blockchain.

Experts called for a private-public partnership on user education regarding its use in enhancing transparency and accountability in corporate and public institutions.
Sadly, only less than one per cent of tech-savvy Kenyans understand the meaning of blockchain — despite having come across the word in cryptocurrency sites in their pursuit to comprehend digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. And with a dip in the reading culture in Kenya, only a few people have read Understanding the Blockchain, a book by Benjamin Arunda that expounds the meaning of blockchain in a humorous but illustrative way.
This just highlights the knowledge gap in the country, which can only be bridged through training to guarantee the gateway to full acceptance and application of the technology.
But some professionals in various sectors have heard of the Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) taskforce created by the government to research and present a report on the two tech fields. They should have a strong grasp of this technology before it is rolled out.
If the government works closely with the private sector in educating Kenyans on how blockchain works, and why we need it as a country, there will be no resistance when they see it being used to tame corrupt officials. It will make no sense implementing the technology when the users themselves have no clue on what the platform entails.

And although the government has indicated signs of using the…

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