Rwandan govt., Overstock subsidiary Medici Land Governance sign MOU to implement blockchain property rights, land governance management
Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) and Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Overstock.com, Inc.’s blockchain-meets-property rights subsidiary, Medici Land Governance (MLG).
Founded as a portfolio firm of Medici Ventures, Overstock’s blockchain technology accelerator, in 2018, MLG aims to assist individuals all over the globe in connecting with the world economy by utilizing blockchain and other technologies to help record rightful property ownership.
It is MLG’s second MOU with an African country to build a blockchain-based platform to manage property rights and land governance.
According to a press release CoinReport received from Method Communications, Medici Ventures’ PR firm, this latest MOU will see MLG implementing its technology to move Rwanda to a corruption-proof, paperless, blockchain-based, secure land governance system.
MLG will assist the government of Rwanda in incorporating blockchain and other technologies into its current systems, creating a paperless system that utilizes electronic signatures and digital lodging of surveys for the administrative processes that affect land transfers and rights. This system will allow for more direct communication among government entities and private landowners, using the distributed and decentralized blockchain to make sure transfer of assets and records are secure.
Rwandan officials will also get help from MLG to improve current land governance procedures, including streamlining the connections among the related courts, government registries and public institutions. Moreover, MLG will develop interfaces with Rwanda’s tax authorities and the present land administration information system of the country to make certain workflows are smooth and to minimize and eradicate processing delays.
Strategies for the project’s full scope include creating a blockchain-based platform with mobile capabilities, including payments. The project will accommodate simplified data collection and regulations to help government decisions regarding land use and city planning. The MOU, which will be effective for a year, includes choices for extensions of six months to two years.
Medici Land Governance CEO Dr. Ali El Husseini said in the news release we received, “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. At Medici Land Governance, 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 standardizing land ownership on a digital, secure, user-friendly system that provides equal access for all people in a timely, responsive manner.”
One of the most densely populated nations in sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda has a young, generally rural inhabitants. The country started reforming its land in 2004 by beginning to streamline the processing and handling of land titles. According to the 2017 World Bank’s Doing Business Index, the nation’s utilization of local para-surveyors to define plot boundaries has assisted in boosting the country to a fourth-place ranking in “measurement of the ease of registering property.” Since then, however, although millions of land transactions have been processed, just an insignificant percent of these transactions have been officially registered, suggesting several informal sales and acquisitions by inheritance or birth rights are still taking place.
Dr. Patrick M. Byrne, chairman of Medici Land Governance and founder and CEO of parent company Overstock.com, said in the news release we received, “This agreement with the Rwandan government creates an outstanding opportunity to show how blockchain can be used to lift people out of poverty. Rwanda has made tremendous progress in standardizing land claims by maintaining a land registry that eases the process of doing business in Rwanda. 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.”
MLG logo & Husseini’s photo – Via Method Communications
Patrick’s photo – Courtesy of Overstock