Blockchain talks to take centre stage at Connected Kenya Summit
By Victor Magunamu, Kenya
Kenya’s ICT Authority says blockchain will be a focus area at the upcoming Connected Kenya Summit to be held in Nairobi starting October 22.
The annual tech summit which will be entering its tenth anniversary, will be held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi for the first time, and is expected to bring at least 1000 ICT thought leaders and experts under one roof.
The theme for the two-day event this year will be ‘building for prosperity’ with focus given to innovations under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda of manufacturing, food security, universal health care and affordable housing.
Even so, speaking during apre-event briefing this week, PS Ministry of ICT and Innovation Jerome Ochieng hinted that discussions about blockchain technology and its possible benefits to the country’s growth will take the centre stage.
The PS who was flanked by the acting chief executive ICT Authority John Sergon said that a taskforce which was formed in February to study how blockchain and artificial intelligence can complement the government’s Big Four Agenda will table its findings later this month.
“We created a task force to into the possibility of changing any laws and regulations to accommodate the services of blockchain technology. It is an important step because the technology is still new in the country and we have to make sure that our laws align to its applications,” Ochieng said.
The 11 member team led by former Information minister Bitange Ndemo in mid-July said it is creating an African Digital Asset Register that will be used to raise funds for nurturing small enterprises.
The team is also mulling a local digital currency at the time the country is divided on whether or not to adopt use cyptocurrency.
‘’More details on this subject will be revealed as soon as Connected Kenya Summit goes live, or afterwards,’’ Ochieng said.
The ICT authority unveiled a special booth that will be set up at the summit which will end on October 26.
The event will culminate in Connected ICT Innovation Awards which celebrate Kenyan entrepreneurs and startups that have launched new ICT products and services.
At least 45 new ICT products and solutions have been recognized since the awards were first held in 2011.