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Uganda to host mega blockchain conference as it vies tech hub status

(R-L) Stanbic Bank Uganda’ s Herbert Olwo, ICT Ministry Commissioner Julius Torach, CryptoSavannah’s CEO Kwame Rugunda and blockchain boss at a press briefing on Tuesday 14. (COURTESY PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Between July 3 to 4, 2019, CryptoSavannah a local firm at the forefront of the blockchain and innovation ecosystem, and the Blockchain Association of Uganda, working in collaboration with the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance will host the 2nd edition of the Africa Blockchain Conference, at the Serena Conference Center in Kampala.

Themed “Africa 4.0: Preparing Africa for the 4th Industrial Revolution” will focus on what the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is, what opportunities it presents, what threats it poses and what Africa must do to leverage 4IR for its development.

Alongside the conference, will run the “Africa 4.0 Tech Expo,” an experiential journey showcasing the leading technology innovations and applications in Africa.

Both the conference and Tech Expo are expected to host 3,000 people, comprising the public and private sector, experts and leaders from global technology companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, youth and government representatives.

Topics to be discussed include; Africa’s readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution, Fintech, payment systems and digital financial services, the future of work and education, the SDGs and technology for impact.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), also known as Industry 4.0, is a new chapter in human development that is enabled by extraordinary technology advances, and is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another.

These technology advances including Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Drones and Robotics, among others are merging the physical, digital and biological spheres in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril.

The speed, breadth and depth of 4th Industrial Revolution is forcing us to rethink how countries develop, how organisations create value, and even what it means to be human.


While addressing the press, the CryptoSavannah CEO, and Chairperson of the Africa Blockchain Conference, Kwame Rugunda, explained that the 4th Industrial Revolution “is already upon us and rather than waiting to be impacted by it, we must consciously prepare ourselves, our systems, our nations and our posterity for it.”

Although Africa has been a late adopter of previous industrial revolutions, the development presents a unique opportunity, where the lack of established systems has become an enabling factor for easier adoption.

“It is this same opportunity that drove Africa’s recent mobile telephony and mobile money revolutions, where the absence of legacy infrastructure, rather than hampering, instead fostered the explosion of communication and more inclusive banking services.”

He added that more global entities are looking at expanding their operations into Africa, and Africa should therefore prepare to receive and fully optimize this interest for its development.

“With the right foundation for emerging technologies, we will have already done half the work of attracting the right interest to our nations,” he emphasized.

Mr. Herbert Olowo, the Chief Information Officer at Stanbic Bank Uganda said, “As a leading financial services provider in Uganda, Stanbic is proud to be associated with Africa Blockchain conference which seeks to discuss new opportunities presented by technological advances and how to leverage the 4th industrial revolution to not only improve our banking processes but also reduce our cost to serve.”

He said the banking industry can explore ways of using blockchain technology to not only reduce the cost of processing payments, but also create new products and services that can generate important new revenue streams.

“Technological advances such as blockchain technology, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to lower operational costs and risks but also help us to better understand our customer journeys and deepen relationships as such help us to provide innovative and customized solutions that address their needs,” he said.

Julius Torach, Commissioner in the Ministry of ICT, told journalists that government was more than keen to play its part in shaping the future of the nation.

Last month, President Museveni launched the National expert taskforce on emerging technologies to make recommendations on how best government can leverage these technologies to transform country’s economy.

The President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Julius Maada Bio will attend and deliver the keynote address at the conference, which will be followed by an address by Mr. Museveni.

A panel discussion with the audience on the conference theme, and how innovation can be harnessed to catalyze Africa’s transformation process will follow.

The Africa Blockchain Conference has already attracted global attention and several experts on 4IR are scheduled to attend and speak at the conference.

The conference will host speakers and panelists from Uganda, Kenya and several African nations as well as others from Europe, the United States and Asia.

The 2-day conference will also feature one of the largest tech exhibitions which will showcase the different unique technology innovations and developments and is garnered to be a highlight of its own.

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