Uganda government to appoint block chain committee
May 24, 2018—Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT minister, has said the government is going to appoint an advisory task force/committee that will study and advise the government on blockchain technology so that informed decisions can be made on the issue in future.
“I have agreed with event organizer, Kwame Rugunda and his team, that in the coming weeks, the Ministry will appoint an advisory task force of eminent people on blockchain to further assess the opportunities of the technology and challenges, and advise government on how to harness the technology. You can be sure the views of the Governor must be represented on this task force,” Tumwebaze said.
A blockchain is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network. At the moment , the most popular use is in transactions involving digital currencies or crytocurrences.
“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.
Tumwebaze said 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 said.
Speaking at the same conference, Noah Baalessanvu, an official from the Blockchain Association of Uganda, which hosted the conference said the Blockchain technology, if embraced could solve most of the problems affecting that African continent like corruption, efficient service delivery, marketing goods, land disputes and many others by creating reliable, flexible and a trusted 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.
Dr. Bitange Ndemo, chairman, Kenyan Blockchain Taskforce said 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 the highest levels of food insecurity. Fifty percent of our food is wasted. With this technology, we will be able to streamline supply chains so that no food goes to waste. Further more, this will help small and medium farmers to benefit more from their produce ,because it will cut out middle- men and reduce fraud,” Ndemo said.
The conference is being 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. Participants are also exchanging ideas on how Uganda and Africa as a whole can take advantage of the technology to grow national economies.