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Blockchain hackathon competition to address corruption

Solutions obtained from the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime East Africa youth blockchain hackathon will be absorbed and used by the Government in the anti-corruption war.

This was confirmed by the Principal Secretary, State Department for Youth, Julius Korir at the soft launch of the competition which will see youths across East Africa come up with innovative solutions to corruption using technology.

The PS commended the project stating it was a positive response to the Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Task Force set up by the President in 2018 to improve service delivery, provide financial inclusion, ensure cybersecurity and create a single digital identity.

“Governments all over the world are adopting blockchain in giving service due to its transparency, accountability and access to information,” said Korir.

Korir further noted that Kenya being the ICT leader in the region with technology such as mobile money is open to embracing blockchain technology.

He added that the technology preserves trust between the public and the government because it can be audited and cannot be altered.

According to the UNODC ROEA Regional Anti-corruption Advisor, UNODC David Robinson, the results of the hackathon participants could be adopted as an actual system by governments.

The project targets youth below 35 years and will run for six weeks where the participants will work on ideas of combating corruption, promoting good governance and the rule of law and for the youth to harness their potential through innovation. They will also be mentored in skills such as design, prototyping, software engineering, business modelling, finance and marketing.

“We are calling on the youth to co-create with us through initiatives such as this,” the PS said.

The hackathon will be supported by partners such as the IBM, Kotani, National Youth Council, C-labs and decoded with learners designing blockchain-based solutions in areas of whistle blowing protection, financial investigations and public procurement.

By Abigail Munene

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