How AI Wakili is Helping Kenyans Know The Law

A lot of tech innovations have now seen the light of the day in Africa over the last few years, with many more still being developed, undergoing trial tests and getting set to hit the market.

Our world today, as we live in it, has now become an enclave for numerous exciting AI (artificial intelligence) iterations to improve the ease of doing business, enhance productivity and drive growth across various sectors. Yet Africa would not be caught unawares by the advent of AI technology.

In Kenya, an emerging economy in East Africa, a new AI product is fast making waves for its ability to provide legal assistance to citizens of the country and ensure that they are aware of state laws.
Naftal Obwoni, Creator of Wakili
The urge to develop the AI came to the bare when a young Naftal Obwoni, witnessed as his father lost his job unceremoniously, prompting a lengthy court battle against his employer.

Obwoni saw first hand his father's struggle to obtain justice. And this was because the dad was not familiar with the legal framework and judicial systems of the country.

Inspired by a life situation involving his father, IT guru Naftal Obwoni decided to develop several solutions, leveraging on emerging technologies.

One of his innovations is Wakili, an Artificial Intelligence-powered super lawyer with the knowledge of all Kenyan laws and judicial systems.

"We try to democratize law, to democratize the legal fraternity. Democratization here means, there was an opportunity in the world now about AI, then we said let’s be the first company that uses AI for social good. So we’ve developed Wakili so that anybody can go there because it understands every other law in Kenya and even in the Commonwealth. We’ve been able to allow it understand all laws in Kenya in both English and fluent Swahili," Obwoni says of his innovation.
Wakili AI interacting in Swahili for display
Wakili AI interacting in English for display
All you need to do is access Wakili on your mobile or computer browser, type in your question either in Swahili, English, Spanish, French or Italian, and you have answers coming to you.

Obwoni says Wakili has been trained to respond in English, Swahili, Spanish, Italian, French and Mandarin.

"So if today I have land issues I need to know what is my recourse, somebody has conned me, or you want a divorce, how do I go through the process? They just need to type there in Swahili or English. That super lawyer who understands all the laws in this country will be able to advise you, give the legal implications and tell you the clauses in the constitution that you have a recourse," he narrates how Wakili works.

Wakili has been developed to target everyone interested in legal matters, from common Mwananchi to legal practitioners and even organizations looking to draft legal documents.

So far, 1200 people have used the services of Wakili, among them a top law firm in Upperhill Nairobi.

Wakili is a Kenyan version of the well-known Chat GPT, but it now focuses on Kenyan laws and judicial systems.