President Uhuru Kenyatta Launches a Digital Land Transaction Platform to Curb Fraud

President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS), a digital land resource management platform called Ardhisasa, with the aim of improving land record protection, speeding up land transactions, and reducing fraud.

According to the President, the digital platform Ardhisasa would protect Kenyans from cartels, middlemen, and fraudsters.

“Missing files, perennial fraud, corruption and illegal land transactions will be a thing of the past when this programme is eventually rolled out throughout the country,” he said.

The Ardhisasa platform is a Kenyan innovation that was developed over three years by a multi-agency team of young Kenyans. Citizens and investors will be able to use cell phones or computers to access government services and information on land from the convenience of their homes or offices.

Users will be able to search for and complete various land transactions with the click of a button, greatly reducing human encounters, delays, and other inconveniences previously faced at manual land registries.

The President spoke at the launch of Ardhisasa at the National Geospatial Data Centre in Nairobi on Tuesday. A fully digital registry was launched in Nairobi as part of the phased rollout, with another twenty counties expected to enter the digital framework by the end of the year.

The Roll-out

“The digitalization of land services will be rolled out to the rest of the country in a phased and gradual manner as we incorporate feedback from users. We project to cover the entire country by the end of 2022,” he added.

Although Nairobi’s digitalisation of services is complete, there are still some aspects that need to be aligned with the law in order to encourage digital transactions. Among them are sectional properties – or apartments – and other sectional units that are being brought under the Sectional Properties Act, signed into law in 2020. 

This is in addition to the fact that many titles must be corrected before landowners can profit from these far-reaching changes.

“Ardhisasa platform will assist court processes and investigative agencies like the EACC, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the DPP to curb fraud in the lands sector,” President Kenyatta said.

The project is part of one of the many initiatives by the government to integrate geospatial data. It will serve as a link between vital yet interconnected government services like the National Addressing System, Business Registration Services, the Registrar of Persons, the National Land Commission, Kenya Revenue Authority, and competent land sector actors.

“The platform will increase revenue generation due to proper valuation, and payment of land rents as well as improve urban planning and infrastructure development. It is also expected to boost the on-going national titling programme of securing rights to land through issuance of titles,” said Faridah Karoney, CS, Ministry of Lands & Physical Planning.

The President emphasized that digitalization of land administration was part of the government’s overall strategy to ensure seamless synergy and harmony between sectors critical to the country’s overall economic development.

“Land is a critical enabler of all the pillars of my Big Four development agenda namely; universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security and manufacturing,” he said.

The President stated that by using comprehensive and precise maps, continued geospatial survey and mapping of national resources will encourage quality physical planning, spur increased revenue collection, and promote environmental conservation.

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