The conversation between President Museveni and Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile will perhaps be one of the major highlights of the forthcoming Africa Blockchain Conference 2019.
State House at the weekend confirmed to journalists that the head of State would officiate as chief guest at the 2nd Africa Blockchain Conference on July 3 and 4th 2019. According to the notice, the President will also host his Sierra Leone counterpart HE President Julius Maasa Bio of Sierra Leone who will arrive on July 1 and the two will address the media.
At the inaugural conference In 2018, President Museveni delivered a Keynote address on how Africa is ready for the digital age, saying Blockchain technology removes opaqueness in business and replaces it with total transparency. He further said Blockchain should not substitute goods and services but enable things to move faster through technology and systems. He added that it should support the four sectors in the economy that produce goods and services such as Agriculture, manufacturing and processing Industry, Services sector and the ICT sector.
The conference turned dramatic when President Museveni called Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile “dogmatic” and unwilling to adapt to new technology.
The two were speaking during the Africa Blockchain Conference which opened at Kampala Serena hotel today. The conference, organized by the Blockchain Association of Uganda, was reviewing the role of blockchain technology in Africa’s transformation.
Mutebile said then that blockchain technology lacks the necessary prerequisites to work as a currency and that people who sell cryptocurrencies risk being burned when the bubble eventually bursts.
“No cryptocurrency can match a well managed or original currency. Cryptocurrencies do not have the privileges of legal tender and are not backed by the central bank, which ensures the supply of the currency is always adequate with the demand. Furthermore, there are no external mechanisms for backing cryptocurrencies to ensure that they have a stable value. Consequently, cryptocurrencies are subject to extreme price volatility which renders them ineffective as a store value or unit of account.” said Mutebile.
Mutebile argued that the emergency of cryptocurrencies should not divert Ugandans from the role played by central banks as stewards of public trust.
Museveni corrected the governor saying there was a need to embrace technology advancement since it will enable quick service delivery. He then took the conference on a historical perspective on the evolution of money.
The Central Bank has since established a working group on cryptocurrency, while Mr Museveni early this year established the 4th Industrial Revolution Taskforce to guide government on adaptation of the new technologies.
The 2019 Africa Blockchain Conference which will happen on the 3rd and 4th July 2019, is organized by CryptoSavannah and the Blockchain Association of Uganda with the support of the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.
This year’s conference theme will be ‘’Africa 4.0: Preparing Africa for the 4th Industrial Revolution’’ and 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. The Conference and Tech Expo will host 3,000 people, comprising the public and private sector, experts and leaders from global technology companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, students, 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, SDGs and technology for impact.
The Conference comes at a time debate is rife about social media giants Facebook’s recent introduction of their cryptocurrency, Libra. In An article published about the future of finance on https://qz.com, Yomi Kazeem writes, “The big-picture goal, Facebook says, is to “empower” unbanked people across the world by providing access to the global financial system. That’s an ambitious target given the sheer size of that population (1.7 billion) —a bulk of which are in Africa.
CryptoSavannah Director, Noah Baalesanvu, agrees that Africa is ripe for the revolution; “While initially being marred by scams and cons, significant value has moved to crypros with major markets like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with significant crypto holdings also trading activity.
There will be 50 speakers at the conference some of which include; Sheikh Khaled Al Nehayan, Chairman Bin Zayed Group, Mohamed Taysir, CEO Drakon Tech Solutions, Toro Orero, Partner QI Holdings, Ian Balina, Founder 100X Advisors.
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