US online retailer Overstock’s subsidiary, Medici Land Governance (MLG), has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) and the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) to develop a blockchain-based platform to manage land governance and property rights.
The aim is to move Rwanda to a paperless, secure, corruption-proof, blockchain-based system. MLG will also help Rwandan officials refine existing land governance processes, including streamlining the links among the relevant courts, government registries, and public institutions. In addition, it will create interfaces with the country’s tax authorities and the country’s existing land administration information system to ensure smooth workflows, and to reduce and eliminate delays in processing.
Plans for the full scope of the project include developing a blockchain-based platform with mobile capabilities, including payments. The platform will accommodate streamlined regulations and data collection to assist government decisions around city planning and land use. The MOU will be in force for one year and includes options for six-month extensions up to a duration of two years.
“We are encouraged by the prospect of working with Rwanda, which clearly understands the value of establishing the rights of land ownership as an essential incentive for bolstering agricultural productivity and sustained investment for long-term economic growth,” says Medici Land Governance CEO, Dr. Ali El Husseini.
“We appreciate the clear objectives and strategic road map the Rwandan government has outlined toward economic empowerment. By using our expertise in blockchain, mobile apps, and other technologies, we can help Rwanda fulfill the goals of its major land reform efforts in standardising land ownership on a digital, secure, user-friendly system that provides equal access for all people in a timely, responsive manner.”
The agreement creates an outstanding opportunity to show how blockchain can be used to lift people out of poverty, according to Dr. Patrick M. Byrne, Chairman of Medici Land Governance and founder and CEO of Overstock.com.
“Rwanda has made tremendous progress in standardising land claims by maintaining a land registry that eases the process of doing business in Rwanda,” he says. “I believe solving that problem will trigger a cascade of positive developments: so much capital will be liberated into the hands of the poor, and they will lift themselves out of poverty. We look forward to bringing the benefits of blockchain to the poor across Africa and the globe.”