Uganda to Set To Host the Africa Blockchain Conference

The PS Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Vincent Bagiire (centre) speaking at a press briefing to announce the upcoming ‘Africa Blockchain conference’ slated to take place on 23rd and 24th May at the Kampala Serena Hotel. With him is Kwame Rugunda the Chairman of the Blockchain Association of Uganda (Right) and Stanbic Bank’s Application & Integration Support Manager, Pius Okullo (Left).

On 23rd and 24th May, the Blockchain Association of Uganda with support from the Government of Uganda, will host the Africa Blockchain Conference at the Kampala Serena Hotel. The conference, which will be held under the theme “The role of Blockchain Technology in Africa’s transformation” is scheduled to host policy makers, leaders in Industry, academia, youth, entrepreneurs and blockchain enthusiasts.

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger platform that allows creation and management of decentralized systems and processes, which enhance efficiency and transparency of transactions across institutional or business operations. Blockchain Technology, also described as the ‘technology of trust’ is disrupting and redefining traditional governance and business models across the world from the way information is created, managed and shared to the way products and services are delivered.

While addressing the journalists at the Media Center, the Chairman of the Blockchain Association of Uganda, Kwame Rugunda, said he concurs with the recent remarks made by President Yoweri Museveni regarding the need to change Africa’s lag in innovation. While addressing delegates at the World Customs Organization Conference in March 2018, President Museveni told delegates that Africa had largely missed out on the industrial revolution, with the exception of the Iron Age and stressed that Africa was now entering the digital revolution and that “Africa will not miss out again!”

While reiterating these same remarks, Kwame Rugunda, explained that Africa is at the right time to adopt this technology. “We have already seen glimpses into how it is disrupting traditional models in areas such as finance, procurement, insurance, health, identity management, contracts, governance, to mention but a few. Now is the right time to engage with this novel technology, because each wave of technology presents profound opportunity, particularly for the early adopters,” he said.

The Africa Blockchain Conference is aimed at spurring engagement from both the public and private sectors, by sharing understanding as to how it can be adopted and the impact.

“The conference will focus on how we can build a blockchain eco-system and position ourselves to be part of global discussions. “Some of the immediate benefits of using blockchain include enhanced efficiencies with greater transparency and accountability in our business and governance systems which are key factors in enabling Uganda become an investment destination, and catapulting our economic growth” Rugunda noted.

According to Stanbic’s Application & Integration Support Manager, Pius Okullo, Blockchain technology offers lots of benefits to the overall development and transformation of Africa and more importantly Uganda. At a very high level it will play a large role in improving operational efficiency both in the private and the public sector.

“The decentralized nature of blockchain technology offers a very robust and secure platform designed from the foundation up with transaction protection (confidentiality of transaction details) as a priority. This is the core of digital transformation happening globally.” said Okullo.

“Block chain technology creates an opportunity for every business, government and individuals, however to reap these it is imperative that we all accept and embrace the technology. It is important to note that to integrate and leverage the block-chain is quicker compared to traditional systems as it does not require lengthy and costly infrastructure setup projects. Its true value lies in all sectors being part of a blockchain eco-system.” Okullo added.

The conference offers a perfect opportunity for knowledge share, and discussions around creating the ecosystem.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Vincent Bagiire affirmed that the government is keen about embracing technology innovations. “We are actively engaged in the discussions on blockchain and have collaborated with different stakeholders to ensure we have the right information to advance our agenda as government,” he noted. He added that the government recognizes the growing trends in the technology sector and is positioning itself to be at the forefront so as to take advantage of these opportunities.

The Africa Blockchain Conference will showcase different but relevant use cases in different sectors to demonstrate the value and importance of blockchain technology. The conference will feature key global blockchain stakeholders who will be building a case for the adoption of blockchain technology in Uganda and in Africa. The conference speakers and panelists will come from the host country Uganda, as well as Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Europe, the United States and Asia. The topics of discussion will include governance, regulation and policy, crypto currencies and digital assets, cyber security, innovation and technology, risk and investment opportunities among others.


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