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The Price of Intelligence = Risk Management


The price of intelligence = risk management

President Lyndon B. Johnson told a gathering in 1967 that “I wouldn't want to be quoted on this ...We've spent $35 or $40 billion on the space program. And if nothing else had come out of it except the knowledge that we gained from space photography, it would be worth ten times what the whole program has cost. Because tonight we know how many missiles the enemy has and, it turned out, our guesses were way off. We were doing things we didn't need to do. We were building things we didn't need to build. We were harboring fears we didn't need to harbour…..”.

Its no doubt that the election fever has kicked in and similarly, high cost of living, insecurity, political violence and the likes are now at the top of the nations risk matrix. It is possible to sit back and watch or pray that all will be well but the impact to social welfare, economic equity and nationhood is expensively damning.

It is high time that leaders embrace top end solutions to save the Kenyan nationhood. We are facing a real threat of terror and have suffered casualties for way too many times in cases where it could be avoidable with the right intelligence to the right person and at the right time. The concept of Big Data analytics is an enabler to remain ahead of the enemy. This is a combination of different sources of data ranging from satellite imaging, communications eavesdropping, customs through KenTrades’ single window system and integrated customs management system by KRA, banking transactions
such credit card GPS, Residential and business addresses, Motor and licensing registries, street security cameras and so on.

Hang on a minute, I know you are thinking – wow, what kind of privacy will we enjoy?? What if it becomes the source of tyrants in Kenya??.....well, your concern is very genuine. From the events following Snowden story, everyone would be concerned. The issue is about ethics and the approach. First, it has to be professionals who must be engaged to set up such systems. Professionals who are bound by ethics bodies and abide to high levels of integrity. A risk management approach provides the basis of what is to be achieved. The objective of the assignment defines the parameters to be applied of monitoring and decision making.

Such an establishment would become a commercial enterprise for different types of consumers. For instance, if you wanted to purchase a piece of land from a registered company, with a click of a mouse, you should be able to verify the lands’ existence and title, the company directors, history of past transactions and much more intelligence that would aid you to make an informed economic decision. Further, a security agency with appropriate authority or KDF could already trace and locate the explosive devices in Nothern Kenya’s roads (which must be recent since the road has always been in use). Moreover, a motorist who commits a traffic offense rushing of a critical business meeting can find his ticket following day in his mail box. The ease of doing business and social welfare would be uplifted to high levels and increase our index of happiness and hence the Kenyan Nationhood. A political candidate can determine the needs of her constituents to develop a winning campaign strategy while an insurance company can save millions in illegitimate claims. 

Well, just some thoughts I should share. Isn't this the Kenya we all wish for anyway?

                                                                                                          Risk Africa Limited
                                                                                       gilbert.mwalili@riskafrica.co.ke