Kenyan Government Plans to Distribute 500,000 Houses Using Blockchain Technology (
In a thumbs up to blockchain technology, the government of Kenya is planning to use blockchain technology to distribute 500,000 housing units sponsored by the state, as reported by The Star on Oct. 16. Speaking at a World Bank dialogue about affordable housing in Nairobi, Charles Hinga, Principal Secretary of Kenya’s Housing and Urban Development, said:

“Kenya will use blockchain technology to ensure the rightful owners live in government-funded housing projects.”

Kenya is tapping into the technology to ensure transparency and fight corruption, which has hemorrhaged the country, leading to underdevelopment and a sovereign rating downgrade.

Project Funding

The state-funded project will be financed by the National Housing Fund under Finance Act 2018. Three percent of the funding will come from borrowing, revenue generated from rental obtained from the current housing stock, employers and employees, and the issuance of securities to investors.Hinga said the government needs to raise Sh6billion ($59.4 million) per month in order to unlock the supply side of projects. 

He also acknowledged that houses are expensive, making it difficult for ordinary citizens to own properties. The government will build houses that cost between Sh300,000 ($3,000) and Sh3 million ($30,000) in different areas already identified by the state.
James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary of Transport and Housing, said that the state requires Sh3.2 trillion ($52.5 billion) to develop a million houses. Macharia also said:

“You should not pay more than 30 percent of your disposable income to own or rent a home. For an average formal sector earning of close to Sh50,000 ($495) per month, one should pay at most Sh15,000 ($148) for rent.”

Despite the financial constraints, the real challenge in Kenya is corruption by government officials and beneficiaries. Hinga highlighted that the citizens have lost trust in the government because of how it has handled previous projects.

Kenya is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, alongside Zimbabwe, Burundi, Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Libya — all of which have suffered from conflicts or political instability.

Blockchain technology can be a solution to Kenya’s (and any other country’s) corruption woes as it is a transparent and immutable ledger of entries that can act as an auditing mechanism.

Kenya’s Relationship With Blockchain Technology

While African countries have taken an overall backseat in adopting blockchain, the technology can help to address some of the challenges facing the continent.

In August, Bloomberg reported that Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was planning to implement blockchain technology in its voting process.

This, given the history of Kenya’s disputed elections that have led to violence and deaths, it could be a huge leap in increasing the efficiency of Kenya’s elections. IEBC’s plan, as expected, received support from the Blockchain Association of Kenya.

Early this year, Cabinet Secretary for Information and Communication Technology Joe Mucheru said that he was setting up a task force within his ministry to study how the technology can be used to improve transparency in both the public and private sectors.
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    Francisco Gimeno - BC Analyst Kenya is one of the African countries leading the blockchain way. Its experiments on use cases (like this one promoted by the government) will be very useful to see how to implement blockchain in different sectors and eradicate corruption, save money and time, and empower the citizens. We should follow this use case in time.