Second Mkutano forum to focus on role of science, technology and innovation in development

The second edition of the Economic Mkutano, which will focus on the role of science, technology and innovation in economic development, is scheduled for Thursday, September 12 at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

Reprising the spirit borne out of the inaugural 2018 edition, the Mkutano serves to facilitate open debate in which conclusions enable us to script our own economic story in a manner that fosters inclusive growth.

David Bikhado Ofungi, founder and CEO of DERO and curator of the Mkutano, pointed out the fact that innovation speaks to an important tenet of Africa’s new development agenda.

“This edition of the Mkutano’s theme is in line with the United Nation’s 9th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 9) – industry, innovation & infrastructure — where technological progress is key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges like providing new jobs and promoting energy efficiency respectively,” he said.

Mr Ofungi said: “Uganda has for long been hailed as a highly entrepreneurial society. What stands out for Uganda as well is her young workforce and pool of able and motivated entrepreneurs. Multiple enablers need to be in place for enterprise to thrive, from tax regimes that speak to the form of risk capital being deployed, formal banking products that chart the path towards intangible knowledge-based assets such as intellectual property as collateral, and home grown innovation that speaks both to nuanced opportunities on the local and international market.”

And as such he said, the economic Mkutano is appropriate at a time when headwinds are challenging business convention in the Uganda private sector.

“You either innovate or die. There are more components that inform entrepreneurial success but innovation has the best correlation between the entrepreneurship and the longevity of enterprise,” said Mr Ofungi.

Organised around the theme ‘Innovation as a Pillar for Economic Growth’, the 2019 Mkutano will have two panels featuring a broad spectrum of skills and experiences along the aforementioned theme.

Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina, a well-respected thoughtleader on innovation, urbanisation and the fourth industrial revolution will be the keynote speaker at the forum. She will share her experiences on innovation systems from a policy perspective.

Simbarashe Mhuriro, a globally-acclaimed Forbes 30 under 30™ renewable energy entrepreneur will also speak at the forum and will share his experiences as a young innovator.

“We shall also have several esteemed panellists from enterprise, academia and government will add to the diversity of opinions at the event,” Ofungi said.

The Economic Mkutano 2019 is organised in partnership with Stanbic Bank Uganda, NSSF, UNCDF, Next Media Group, Mota Engil Africa, Dmark Limited, Rwandair, The New Vision, and DERO.

About Dero

DERO is financial technology company that is developing a platform to mobilize latent capital for onward investment into latent renewable energy in Africa. DERO is also active in the origination of investment projects in line with Uganda’s Vision 2040.