As with most third world countries, Yemen is no exception when it comes to being engulfed in a huge and stagnant bureaucracy leading to inefficiency in various spheres of business, education and governance.
In the last decades third world countries, tried various reforms of the bureaucratic arena, most of these reforms have proven to be extremely difficult to implement for a number of reasons among them is the implementing timeframe that usually requires decades as each country has unique implementing hurdles and also because bureaucracy cannot be treated as an isolated sector, thus requiring additional reforms with the entire apparatus.
Naturally, countries like Yemen that have an explosive population growth have an additional strain and massive pressures on the bureaucratic sector. A rapidly growing young population that would need everything from more efficient schooling and healthcare to providing adequate job opportunities.
In spite of introducing different methods that promised more effective use of the bureaucratic workforce, it seems that no matter what efforts have been put in place to provide a more efficient system, nothing currently can beat the speed, the efficiency and the accuracy of the blockchain technology. The capabilities that the blockchain possesses to transform the bureaucracy apparatus in Yemen both in efficiency and size is enormous.
Lets take a simple example the land ownership problem. One of the most important tasks when it comes to land ownership is verifying land ownership before purchase. In Yemen, being partially a tribal society, land is handed over from father to son for centuries, ownership of land in many cases are based on hand written documents and most often then not the ownership is determined upon one testifying that a specific land belongs to a specific person ( generally belonging to a entire family ). This over time creates problems as documents could be lost, witnesses could not be found and other unfortunate circumstances which all inevitably may lead to disputes, disputes that in Yemen often have unfortunate outcomes. The same principle applies to transferring ownership from one person to another.
This is where implementing a blockchain technology into land and property registry gives an opportunity to solve many of these issues. One of the powers of the blockchain is that it is unalterable and immutable. A peace of paper that has been hand written with no physical seals or specific appearances can be easily forged, not to mention that local catastrophes can wipe out years of registries. A simple mistake on a piece of paper may have huge consequences involving entire tribes and communities that may last for years.
A blockchain, as a digital ledger or registry incorporates different mechanisms ( be it in smart contracts or otherwise ) for different parties to agree upon a set of facts, it simply provides a registry that cannot be tampered with. In other words, facts that have been prior agreed upon cannot be changed, thus eliminating false, imprecise or simply misleading statements. A public or semi private ledger that gives all parties the ability to check facts before engaging in transactions is crucial for a land ownership and property registry. It is important to understand that a blockchain solution is not only secure but is highly transparent too. Just by reducing the amount of paperwork required and probable subsequent disputes, may amount to millions of Yemeni rials being saved annually not to mention the thousands of working hours wasted within the bureaucratic machinery.
Replacing a system that has been in place for a very long time wouldn’t come easy but it is important to look towards the future and to try to find solutions to existing problems by utilizing a technology that has so much to offer.