IThe Minister of Information and Communication Technology and National Guidance, health Hon Frank Tumwebaze has rooted for the exploitation of big data technology in development and governance in Africa.
Tumwebaze told hundreds of participants attending the Smart Africa Summit in Rwandan capital, cost Kigali on Thursday that the big data technology, which refers to extremely large data sets which can be analysed using a computer or computers to make meaning of certain things such as human behaviour and other interactions, is a blessing for smart economies.
“The advent of big data is premised on the evolution of technology; from 1G to 5G which has created opportunities for smart economies,” he said.
“The interoperability of ICT infrastructure and services has today created enormous data outputs and all these create an opportunity to leapfrog.”
The Transform Africa 2017 Summit in Kigali themed ‘Smart Cities’, brought together Heads of State, First Ladies, Ministers and Government officials in ICT.
Other related sectors which participated in the event such as digital economy, infrastructure, finance, health, education, and energy.
Mayors of African cities, Telecom and Utilities Regulators, Heads of International and Regional Organizations, ICT Industry leaders, innovators and investors and young innovators, Girls and Women in STEM among other stakeholders were also present.
Tumwebaze noted that integration in different government sectors is going to be eased by the big data technology.
“Building infrastructure and developing data plans will enable Integration in transportation, education, health care and many other public services such as providing smart cities and embracing safety,” he noted.
Tumwebaze, however, warned on the security of big data to avoid would be adversed effects and only enjoy the positive side.
“As we embrace big data however, we must pay attention to security of data. The citizens want to know, what are governments, telecoms, banks etc doing with the data. Security of data here therefore becomes paramount if Big data is to be positively harnessed,” he warned.
According to Tumwebaze, as technology of data advances, there is also need to build the capabilities to contain any negative effect of big data.
“We must build capacity of analytics. Big data without analytics is not useful”
Earlier, President Kagame said African leaders need to work together to put technology in hands of citizens in order to build inclusive and sustainable places to live, as the continent looks set to emerge as one of the planet’s great centres of growth, innovation and opportunity in the generations ahead.
“If technology is entrenching divides, rather than equalising opportunities, then we are not harnessing it well. Access to technology information must also not distinguish between rich and poor. So long as women and girls are lagging behind then we are not on the right track. We must deliver on technology’s promise to bridge divides, rather than deepen them,” said the president,
On his part, Tumwebaze said the flow of data would ease the monitoring of both liquid assets and properties of individuals to check on fraud, money laundering and others.
“Flow of data on income of an individual against their assets helps in many ways of fighting crimes like tax fraud, money laundering among others,” he added.
Tumwebaze is spearheading the creation of several ICT innovation centers in Uganda which will receive over Shs 15bn in funding every year.