The Minister of ICT and National Guidance Frank Tumwebaze has said government is going to appoint an advisory task force/committee that will study and advise the government on issues to do with the Blockchain technology to enable government make informed decisions.
Tumwebaze noted that the Blockchain technology is the next future and that Uganda and the rest of Africa needs to embrace it so as not to be left behind and to benefit directly from the advantages that come with it.
According to the minister, the ICT ministry has put in place a support system for innovations through the innovation Fund.
“So far, we have invested in 12 ICT innovations worth $800,000 that are already working in the market. The Blockchain technology will help these innovations and systems to be more resilient and efficient to improve productivity,” Tumwebaze said.
He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the first ever 2 day Africa Blockchain conference that took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
Tumwebaze noted that Uganda was ready for the Blockchain technology and had in place the internet infrastructure and policies to support the new technology.
“Without connectivity, there will be no technology and without technology, there will be no innovation. We have been encouraging the youth to be innovative and we are hopeful that this new technology will enable the youth to be more innovative.” Tumwebaze added.
Noah Baalessanvu, an official from the Blockchain Association of Uganda noted that “If Blockchain technology is embraced, it could solve most of the problems affecting African continent by creating reliable, flexible and a trustable interconnected system that monitors and ensures efficiency.”
“Issues like land disputes, counterfeit drugs and other goods will be history because they will be digital evidence that can’t be duplicated. This will improve efficiency in service delivery and service access.” Baalessanvu said.
Bitange Ndemo, chairman Kenyan Blockchain Taskforce noted that the technology will improve service delivery and productivity in different sectors like health, agriculture, education and industry.
“Africa has the highest food production rates but also highest levels of food insecurity. 50% of our food is wasted. With this technology, we will be able to streamline supply chains so that no food goes to waste.
Furthermore, this will help small and medium farmers to benefit more from their produces because it will cut out middle men and reduce fraud.” Bitange said.
The conference was attended by over 700 delegates from over 24 countries from Africa and around the world with the aim of discussing opportunities and challenges that will come with the Blockchain technology and exchanging ideas on how Uganda and Africa can take advantage of the technology to grow its economy.