President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned Bank of Uganda governor, Emmanuel Mutebile against being adamant on the emergence of Blockchain technology.
Museveni said that Mutebile should time some time over to learn more about Blockchain technology because ICT will spur economic development.
He said this while speaking at the opening ceremony of Africa Blockchain Conference held at Kampala Serena Hotel. The two day conference is aimed at spurring engagement from both the public and private sectors, by sharing understanding as to how blockchain can be adopted and the impact. Museveni welcomed Blockchain technology urging that the new system will remove opaqueness in business and replace it with total transparency since members have open access to books of accounts.
“These Blockchain members are people who trust one another and they are like universal SACCOS. The members have access to ledgers because we are aware how businessmen are inflicted by business secrets,” Museveni said.
It is after this that Museveni warned Mutebile to learn to embrace new technologies despite his age.
“I encourage Mutebile to be more inquisitive about blockchain technology, not to be dogmatic. Paper money has its value because of the trust people attach to it. Bitcoin and blockchain technology can also have value if people trust it,” Museveni said.
In his speech, Mutebile said that whereas blockchain technology is a revolutionary technology which has the potential to change the way people manage data as well as do business, he warned about emergence of cryptocurrency as a result of such emerging technologies which he says lacks prerequisites to work as a currency.
“People who sell cryptocurrency risk being banned completely when the bubble busts. Therefore, the emergence of cryptocurrency don’t render Bank of Uganda useless,” Mutebile said before Museveni advised him to being adamant. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
According to Kwame Rugunda, chairman of the Blockchain Association of Uganda, blockchain technologies reduces uncertainties and would help curb problems associated with land tenure system in Uganda such as land grabbing and fraud through duplication of land titles.
“This technology will also be of benefit in improving g healthcare because it helps deal with counterfeit drugs. With blockchain, you are able to track a drug from its manufacturing area, which hands handle it, its temperature and others. We can scan a drug and if its chain of production is not found then that drug is possibly counterfeit,” Rugunda said.
Statistics from World Health Organization (WHO) show that over 100m Africans are affected by counterfeit drugs.