KAMPALA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Experts, policy makers and academia from across the globe are meeting in Uganda to discuss the role of blockchain technology in Africa's transformation.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who opened the two day meeting on Wednesday said there is a need to study the technology more to see how the risks it presents can be reduced and the benefits enhanced.
Blockchain technology, according to the conference organizers, is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.
The first application of blockchain technology globally was crypto currency, a type of digital currency that is cryptographically secured and distributed on network.
Tumusiime Mutebile, Uganda's central bank governor, said blockchain is viewed as a revolutionary technology with the potential to change the way data is managed as well as doing business.
Mutebile was however cautious on the use of blockchain in cryptocurrency. He said the central bank, Bank of Uganda, has already warned the users of cryptocurrencies to beware of the risks.
"We are here to talk about the blockchain technology and the opportunity it offers. Please note that cryptocurrencies and the technology that supports it, which is blockchain are two distinct things. Our focus today is blockchain technology not cryptocurrency," Mutebile said.
"No cryptocurrency can match a well-managed national or regional currency. Cryptocurrencies do not have the privileges of legal tender and are not backed by a central bank, which ensures that supply of currency is adequate to meet the demand," he added.
Frank Tumwebaze, Uganda's minister of information communication and technology, said Uganda will create a task force to find out how best the technology can be used.
"This conference is vital to discuss blockchain technology that we've heard of. You can't push technology, you must adopt it. Push it away, others will adopt it," Tumwebaze said.
According to the conference organizers, the meeting aims at generating debate on how blockchain can be adopted and its impact.
The topics of discussion will include governance, regulation and policy, cryptocurrencies and digital assets, cyber security, innovation and technology, and risk and investment opportunities, among others.