Mkutano forum to focus on the role of Science, Technology and innovation in Economic Development

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Mr David Ofungi speaking during last year's inaugural Mkutano
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The second edition of the Economic Mkutano for which the focus is the role of Science, Technology and innovation in Economic Development is scheduled for Thursday 12, September 2019 at 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.

Mr David Bikhado Ofungi, Founder and CEO of DERO and curator of points out the fact that Innovation speaks to an important tenet of the new development Agenda for Africa.
“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.
Speaking about the conference, Mr Ofungi says: “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 (IP) as collateral, and the home grown innovation that speaks both to opportunities nuanced on the local dynamic and the international market.”

And as such he says, the Economic Mkutano is appropriate at a time when headwinds are challenging business convention in the Uganda private sector. “You either innovate of die. There are more components that inform entrepreneurial success but innovation has the best correlation between the entrepreneurship and the longevity of enterprise,” he says.
Organized under the theme; “Innovation as a pillar for economic growth”, the 2019 Mkutano forum will have two panels populated by a broad spectrum of skills and experiences along the aforementioned theme.

Dr. Geci Karuri-Sebina will be the Keynote Speaker for 2019. Dr. Geci is a well-respected thought leader on Innovation, Urbanisation and the 4th industrial revolution. She will share her experiences on innovation systems from a policy perspective.
Simbarashe Mhuriro is a globally-acclaimed Forbes 30 under 30™ Renewable Energy Entrepreneur. He will lay the terrain by sharing his experiences as a young innovator in Africa.

“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 a partnership with support from Stanbic Bank Uganda, NSSF, UNCDF, Next Media Group, Mota Engil Africa, Dmark Limited, Rwandair, The New Vision, and DERO.

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