Envoy Advised Uganda to Use Hi-Tech to Track Mineral Wealth
Kampala — African countries should invest in advanced technology to track the quantity of mineral resources extracted by multinational companies, an envoy has advised.
Prof Lekoa Solly Mollo, the South African High Commissioner to Uganda, said with advanced technology, African countries would avoid being cheated by multinational companies since they would be able to tax them accordingly.
"A lot of multinational companies do not declare the exact millions of dollars they make from extracting our minerals because we do not have the technology to determine the correct amount and tax them," Prof Mollo said.
"Advanced technology has also got the potential of effecting good governance by ensuring efficiency, transparency and accountability in everything to do with management instead of manual governance."
Prof Mollo made the remarks while opening the 2nd International Conference on Technology and Management (ICTM) organised by the Uganda Technology and Management University (Utamu) in Kampala last week.
The two-day conference was attended by academics across different universities under the theme; "Improving service delivery through ICT and management revitalisation."
The conference saw different researchers and practitioners in ICT discuss the state-of-the-art research and practices in technology and management.
Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, the outgoing Utamu vice chancellor, noted that technology is very beneficial once it's brought closer to communities.
He noted that advanced technology can be used to solve social problems such as traffic jam in the transport sector, as well as other sectors like agriculture and education. "I hope that the ministry of ICT together with other ministries put up a fund to facilitate different innovations in ICT that can be used to solve societal problems," Prof Baryamureeba said.
Prof Joseph Migga Kiiza, a lecturer at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA, said African countries will have to embark on investment in indigenous research if they are to achieve technological development.
"No country can develop technologically without its own basic research, which is an engine to development. You cannot start an industry and then run to another country for ideas," Prof Kiiza said.
Source: The Monitor 10th August 2015