The President of Uganda, Yoweria Kugata Museveni, made very positive statements regarding blockchain technology at the inaugural Africa Blockchain Conference held in Kampala, Uganda. The conference was organized by the Blockchain Association of Uganda and brought together industry leaders from over 20 countries.
President Museveni said he welcomed and embraced blockchain technology, since it provides full transparency through a public ledger; he said he was aware of how businesses were negatively impacted by “secrets and deceit”, and thought blockchain technology to be the solution. In an example he gave, he said if a farm wanted to sell 100 cows everyone involved could verify the transaction since the data was stored on a public ledger. Not only would the data be public, blockchain ledgers were immutable so they couldn’t be hacked or manipulated, reducing fraud.
The president believed blockchain technology would streamline the movement of goods and services throughout Uganda, but cautioned his citizens that it should not be a replacement, rather it will complement existing infrastructure.
The Governor of the Bank of Uganda, Emmanuel Mutebile, was encouraged by President Museveni to explore blockchain technology. Mutebile said blockchain was technology that would change how people do business and manage data.
Chairman of the Blockchain Association of Uganda, Kwame Rugunda, sees the potential for blockchain to reduce fraud in the land trade. Forging land titles and illegal land grabbing is a problem in Uganda, and this could be solved if land titles are stored in an immutable blockchain ledger. Also, he says over 100 million Africans are negatively affected by counterfeit drugs. Conducting prescription drug transactions through blockchain would help stop the circulation of counterfeit drugs in Africa.
The positive perspective of the Ugandan Central Bank on blockchain technology is in stark contrast to Zimbabwe, which is located well to the south of Uganda on the African Continent. The Central Bank of Zimbabwe recently tried to ban all cryptocurrency activity.
Uganda is a country of roughly 42 million people with a gross domestic product of USD 27 billion. The Ugandan president’s views will help blockchain technology spread throughout the country, an important step towards global adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain.
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