23 May 2019

Uganda: Government Ready to Adopt Blockchain Technology Which Is Relevant-ICT Ministry

KAMPALA

The commissioner in charge of Information Communication Technology in the ICT Ministry, Mr Julius Torach has said Uganda the government will begin adopting/using blockchain technology, which is relevant to the country as a way of improving efficiency in public service delivery.

The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value using the internet.

In other words, a blockchain is a distributed ledger of data that is maintained and updated by a network of computers across the globe. The data is packaged into blocks, with each block containing a timestamp and cryptographic link to the previous block.

Uganda is scheduled to host the second edition of The Africa Blochain Conference on July 3rd and 4th 2019 at Kampala Serena Hotel expected to be attended by 3,000 guests from Africa and the rest of the world, with the keynote speaker being the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, the conference will also be addressed by President Yoweri Museveni.

Speaking in a joint news conference held on May 14 at head office of Association of Africa Blochain at Nakwa Business Park on the forthcoming Africa Blochain conference, the Commissioner in the Ministry of ICT, Mr Julius Torach said: "On 8th April this year, the government launched the National expert taskforce on emerging technologies to make recommendations on how best the government can leverage these technologies to transform our economy."

Mr Torach said the government has formed a National Taskforce to perform the role of guiding the country and preparing the country for the fourth industrialization in relation to Uganda's Vision 2040 and sustainable development, and the government will adopt the part of Blochain technology which is relevant to the country.

On May 23, 2018, during The Africa Blochain conference at Kampala Serena Hotel President spoke in support of using new technologies like Blochain saying technology is changing.

Mr Torach further explained that Blochain is found to be very effective in realizing value for money and improving service delivery. "The use of Blochain, it is going to be based on trust, we already have Data Protection and Privacy Security law and we are seeing to what extend Blochain technologies can be best used or applied in Uganda through the ecosystem.

Mr Herbert Olowo, the Chief Information Officer of Stanbic Bank Uganda, who also shares the ICT committee of Uganda Bankers Association said banks in Uganda supports and are embracing the use of Blochain in banks.

"As a leading financial services provider in Uganda, Stanbic is proud to be associated with Africa Blockchain conference which seeks to discuss new opportunities presented by technological advances and how to leverage the 4th industrial revolution to not only improve our banking processes but also reduce our cost to serve," he said.

Mr Olowo said the banking industry can explore ways of using blockchain technology to not only reduce the cost of processing payments but also create new products and services that can generate important new revenue streams.

"Technological advances such as blockchain technology, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to lower operational costs and risks but also help us to better understand our customer journeys and deepen relationships as such help us to provide innovative and customized solutions that address their needs," he said.

CryptoSavannah chief executive officer and also the Chairperson of the Africa Blockchain Conference, Mr Kwame Rugunda said the conference theme is "Africa 4.0: Preparing Africa for the fourth (4th) Industrial Revolution" will focus on what the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is, what opportunities it presents, what threats it poses and what Africa must do to leverage 4IR for its development.

Mr Kwame said although Africa has been a late adopter of previous industrial revolutions, the 4th Industrial Revolution presents a unique opportunity, where the lack of established systems has become an enabling factor for easier adoption.

"It is this same opportunity that drove Africa's recent mobile telephony and mobile money revolutions, where the absence of legacy infrastructure, rather than hampering, instead fostered the explosion of communication and more inclusive banking services," he said.

Mr Kwame said more global entities are looking at expanding their operations into Africa, and Africa should, therefore, prepare to receive and fully optimize this interest for its development. "With the right foundation for emerging technologies, we will have already done half the work of attracting the right interest to our nations," he said.

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