DIGITIZATION OF LAND RECORDS IN KENYA

The concept of digitization of the Lands Registries in Kenya began in 2013 to give effect to sections 9 and 10 of the Land Registration Act 2012. Section 9 mandates the Registrar of Lands to maintain the register and any document required in a secure, accessible and reliable format, which includes, amongst other ways, electronic files. Section 10 places emphasis on the accessibility of the register by members of the public by electronic means, amongst others.

The use of manual records at the Ministry of Lands has led to delays of retrieval of records and engendered fraud and corruption.

In an effort to curb document disappearance, a poor filing system and to make it easier to register land, a new effective online system has been implemented to make management of land information more accessible and digitally efficient.

In April 2021, the President launched the National Land Information Management
System (NLIMS), a digital land resource management platform aptly named “Ardhisasa”, designed to enhance the security of land records, speed up land transactions and curb fraud and corruption.
The development of a land information management system has been a priority for
the government. Ardhisasa is believed to be the seal for loopholes in the land registration and transfer process that had allowed the duplication of land titles.

Ardhisasa will enhance investor confidence through reduced timelines in registering property and protecting investors and property owners from fraudulent land transactions. It will also enhance access to land-based information, unlocking property owners’ financial potential and fast-tracking their access to credit facilities.

This will also increase revenue collection and improve partnerships with
professional and investigative agencies. Ardhisasa will ensure seamless synergy and cohesion between sectors that are crucial to the overall economic development of the
country.
Currently, the system has been implemented for land registered under the Nairobi Registry. Land registered under other registries are to be included in the system in due course

Conclusion

The digitization of land administration seeks to improve the ease of doing business in Kenya as the world shifts towards a more transparent approach in day to day land transactions. The costs of transacting and time used will reduce due to elimination of excess steps from certain processes at the lands registries. The digitization process will protect investors and property.

© 2020 Bellmac Consulting LLP

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