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Digitization of the land sector in Kenya: Detailed Impact of Ardisasa Rollout

The Ministry of Lands, Housing
and Physical Planning has since early 2019 been undertaking digitization of its
records and operations with a view of enhancing delivery of services. The
expected result of this ambitious process aimed at improving services and
improving Kenya’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Report is the
platform that will be known as National Land Information Management System
(NLIMS). These changes have also been necessitated by the provisions of the
Constitution of Kenya 2010 which altered significantly the land tenure regime
in Kenya and led to the passing of various pieces of legislation that deal with
land. Those changes have led ultimately to the enactment of laws to facilitate
electronic land transactions.

Therefore, the introduction of Ardhisasa
was a reform which was being needed in the land sector. Though it is still
early to know the extent of benefit or usefulness this system will have on the
land sector; early signs have shown that this Ardhisasa will have unlimited
benefits as follows;


The new digital system is set to
prevent or minimize delays, double allocations, loosing of legal land documents
and other inconveniences. All the parcels will be required to migrate to one
regime, the Registry Index Maps (RIMS)which will replace deed plans as
registration instruments for Land. It will ensure there is uniformity of land
ownership in Kenya. This will ensure good production in terms of increasing rate
of transaction.

data access.

The online system is gradually
being regularized to provide a platform that will allow users to carry out
searches over properties, attend to stamping of documents with duty and
registration of transfers, charges and other land transaction instruments. This
makes it very easy to access data. One can easily access data by just click of a

 More effective planning and decision-making.

The Digitalized land recording
system will streamline land transactions and ownership easing the frustrations
of property owners and buyers such as queueing for long hours at land offices
countrywide. The system will also be integrated with service numbers to
simplify services. The new digital system will minimize overcrowding in land
offices as people go about conducting their due diligence.

Data Quality:

The Ardhisasa will remove
duplicative processes and apply integral validation at the time of capture to
deliver records that are more accurate and complete. The new digital land
management platform was initiated to curb malpractices at the Lands Registries.
The Platform also caters for other land transactions including payment of Land


Information Flows:

Remove redundant and disconnected
processes to reduce latency in enterprise records. Faster and seamless work
processing.  The Platform is meant to
reduce the need for human interactions, prevent delays and eliminate fraud in
land transactions which have been critical challenges with the manual system.

paper records – information stored in digital format

The new digital platform will
benefit all landowners and potential landowners by providing accurate
information required to support the commercialization of land in a convenient
and timely manner. Speaking during the launch, Karoney said that there would be
satellite imagery giving information of the land.  “If you want to know developments around my
parcel, there is satellite imagery to tell of hospitals, roads, rivers.

to get quick reports from the system

The system, which is part of
Kenya e-Government Strategy 2004, will also ensure cost effectiveness, timely
delivery of public services and enhancement of the ease of doing business in
the Country. You can’t cause a file to disappear on the digital platform
because there will be an audit trail. There are also rights for every level of

of integration with other systems

Some of the benefits of digitalization
of land records and land transactions are improved integration with other
public sector authorities, judicial organs, the banking /financial sector
agencies, investigative and tax administration regimes, certainty of land
ownership, security of tenure, reduction of land disputes and improved land
Smoothen government operations by linking it to external
service providers including Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the National Lands
Commission, banks, and other key institutions involved in land matters.

in land disputes

The Ardhisasa system ensures
that any land purchases made are genuine and legal to minimize the never-ending
complaints from the public. It will resolve land problems as it will provide an
updated verified database of land records that are easily available.

During the launch, president
said that the system will solve the historical injustices “The full
rollout of the program will facilitate the resolution of historical land
disputes and guarantee the security and sanctity of your land title deed,”


 Improved conveyancing – Stimulation of the
land market

The digitalization of the land
and property market system presents the opportunity for tax administration
regimes to exponentially expand the tax-bases, enhance revenue collection,
improve efficiency in enforcement and compliance, reduce tax evasion, reduce
the cost of tax collection and other administrative structures and improve
tracking, reporting, fore-casting and decision making,” she remarked.

 Security for credit.

There are a number of security
features that have been incorporated in the system to prevent fraudulent
transactions in land. We understand that no land transaction (including
searches) can be conducted on a property without the owner’s prior consent.
Once a transaction is initiated, it will trigger the system to notify the
registered owner to provide authorization for the transaction to be conducted
on their property.

“Ardhisasa was developed with
strict security protocols to ensure only data that is valid and complete, and
whose integrity we can vouch for, is ingested into the system. Therefore, any
property that has discrepancies in its documentation is currently not available
for transaction,” Karoney said.

 Improved Management of Public Lands and effective
Monitoring of the Land Market

The ministry has developed a
cadastral map [Detailed map with all dimensions and structures] for all
government lands across the country. It will be used in the recently launched
land management information system, Ardhisasa. Cadastral map provides a
cartographic record of official and sometimes private land surveys and
subdivisions, facilitates the administration and transfer of land ownership, records
land ownership.

for Land taxation – Increased revenues

The robust uptake of modern
technology has especially spiked as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which
has in a way forced businesses to shift from brick and mortar model to digitalization
in order to remain profitable. In addition, the digitalization of the property
regime in the Country is expanding the formal land transaction regime to larger
parts of cities and urban areas which hitherto, were excluded from the tax

The benefits of digitalization
go a long way, not only in enhancing tax mobilization abut also improving
service delivery to tax payers

Speaking during the conference
of tax compliance, ATAF Executive Secretary Mr. Logan Wort called on members to
explore how property taxes can enhance broader resource mobilizations both at
internal technical level and at the continental level.

“Property tax deals with
broadening the tax base and filling a gap, but my understanding is that the
value of any property is determined by improvements that you put on it and the
infrastructure around it, for instance energy, roads and human resource capital.
And so as we discuss digital topography estimation and all modern forms of
property and property taxation, we need to discuss about properties outside
urban centers and what drives value of land outside urban centers,” he said.

for Physical Planning

The Platform has so far
introduced a wholly digital registry in Nairobi with the Ministry of Lands and
Physical Planning preparing for on-boarding of another twenty counties to the
digital system in the coming months. The
National Land Information Management System aims to provide a standardized and
integrated online platform to enable Kenyans to access;

of compliance
, a statutory tool issued by the State Department
of Physical Planning to owners/developers of petrol stations for having adhered
to the provisions of approval provided for development.

an application made to the Department of Physical Planning
to request for an approved plan for some specific purposes and

of PDP
: an application made to the Department of Physical Planning
to approve a plan used in the alienation of public land with the authority of
the National Land Commission.


of land records

Kenya is now well-positioned to
share land information widely, increasing its value. Landowners, real estate
agents, land professionals, property developers, bankers, architects and
engineers responsible for housing and road construction should be able to
easily access land information through Ardhisasa. Among other gains, the
security of land records will be enhanced, double allocation eliminated and
rent-seeking greatly reduced.

“You do not need middlemen or
contacts in the Ministry to buy or sell your property in Nairobi because you
can carry out the transactions on your own at the comfort of your home or
office, using your computer or phone. This is the transformation that we seek
to replicate to the rest of the country by December next year,” stated CS


The benefits that will be
brought about by the full deployment of Ardhisasa will outweigh the cost and
the marginal inconvenience experienced, it has provided a convenient,
transparent, and effective mode of conducting land transactions. Effective
deployment of the system will take all Kenyans working together to ensure
integrity of records and sustainable land administration and management. The
change being effected in the lands sector is not just for the benefit of this
generation but generations to come.

We are keenly following the
operationalization of the Platform and will alert you of any developments as
they arise.



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