President Museveni calls for technology use to ease business operations

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KAMPALA, Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni has opened a two-day African Block chain Technology Conference with an advice to those involved in technological innovation to use their new technological discoveries to better the existing way of doing business.

He said this would go a long way in making it easier, faster and effective in service delivery and not to merely replace the traditional way of production of goods and services with technology.

The Africa Block chain Technology Conference was held at Kampala Serena Hotel and Conference Centre in Kampala.

Block chain Technology is a record management system where data is transparently collected, secured and constantly updated and shared among individuals or groups of people and technologically secured from all forms of theft, alteration, adulteration, manipulation and all other forms of misuse. The technology is credited for its safety in record management, its transparency and authenticity and mitigation of fraud.

The 2018 Africa Block chain Conference that opened is running under the theme ‘The Role of Block chain Technology in Africa’s Transformation and is hosted by the Block chain Association of Uganda.

President Museveni congratulated Block chain Technology Africa upon their innovation that will go a long way in providing important solutions in record management in several sectors of life like land, financial, revenue, health and public management, especially on the African continent, that has not done well in record management.

He, however, noted that for Block chain to be useful, it should focus on improving and betterment of the known traditional sources of goods and services that, he said, are agriculture, industry, the service sector and Information and Communication Technology by creating a faster and enabling environment for those sectors to perform better and thrive.

He credited Block chain Technology for being an innovation of professionals who are transparent, trust each other and are elites working to replace the traditional way of secrecy with openness in doing business, which he said, is likely to create a conducive environment of doing business and mitigate business risks and mistakes.

The President said the Government of Uganda will discuss the possibility of adopting Block chain Technology and look at the needed legal framework necessary for its implementation because of the many benefits associated with the technology.

The keynote speaker at the conference, Ms Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who is former President of Mauritius, particularly singled out the need to document African traditional knowledge using Block chain Technology. She cited the need to document the African genetic resource, especially the plants, that are important for the global manufacture of medicine.

She observed that it is unacceptable that the African continent that contributes 83% of the world drug resource, does not benefit from her resource because it has neither documented it and secured it nor even protected it from possible destruction by all forms of encroaching forces both human and otherwise.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology and National Guidance, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, said his Ministry embraces and continues to monitor all forms of emerging technologies and will at all times give support to upcoming technological innovators.

He added that the Government of Uganda looks at ICT as a public good and is focused on extending and connecting all villages in the country to a 3G bandwidth and all urban centres to at least a 5G bandwidth.

Mr. Kwame Rugunda, who is Chairman of the Block chain Association of Uganda, asked government and business companies to adopt Block chain Technology noting that it was particularly useful in solving land related documentation, health service delivery especially drug and patient monitoring, linking manufacturers to consumers, finance management, linking government to citizens and employers to employees, among others.

He observed that the technology is more relevant for Uganda because of the country’s young and innovative population.