Opinion
Is information the new form of currency?
Publish Date: Apr 01, 2014
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Henry Kitunzi

Whoever controls something valuable becomes wealthy. This holds true with all the well-known valuable resources in the world today be it salt, oil and gas, gold, diamond or anything else of value.


Perhaps we have seen how those who have control mainly over oil and gas, gold and diamond, and recently uranium and plutonium have emerged to become some of the wealthiest people on earth. When one talks of Arabs, what they control is evident.

The common characteristic with these resources is that they are scarce and whoever discovers any of them, guards and protects it passionately. That is why the Albertine region in Uganda is a no go zone to anyone.

As a matter of fact, the struggle to have power or control over these resources or say sources of wealth has led to endless civil wars and conflicts coupled with all forms of intrigue and manipulations with Africa being the most affected.

In this globalising culture fuelled by technological innovations, information has seen its way into being the new source of wealth. In fact some think tanks argue that we are in the information age. Society has places value on knowledge.

Last year, a renowned evangelist Dr. Myles Monroe visited Uganda to speak at a business forum hosted at Serena hotel in Kampala.  Guess what people paid sh150,000 which is equivalent to $60 to attend and the whole conference was filled.

The last time if I can remember Ugandans have ever spent enormously on an international figure, was during the R. Kelly concert sponsored by the then Airtel Uganda and the fee was sh100,000.

Why did those who attended have to spend all that money? The only answer I can probably give is that Dr. Myles had the information which people desired. They believed that he had the keys to unlock their potential.

But what is information? Information is knowledge that can be communicated. But it must bear facts and details about a certain subject. Whoever possesses it has the power.

Perhaps this brings us to the saying, knowledge is power, which has been modified to - applied knowledge is power. Dr. Myles had the knowledge, or the power to influence Ugandans to pay him that huge amount of money. In fact during the seminar, he boasted that he ever since he left public service, he earns $120,000 per hour from giving public speeches.

Currently there is an ‘outbreak’ which has hit Uganda in the name of providing information on how to become successful or say become rich in the struggling economy. The evidence of this is the different Pakasa forums which have been held in different parts of the Kampala spearheaded New Vision’s Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kabushenga.

In these forums, people who society thinks are successful in their areas of expertise are invited to tell their stories which are believed to be inspirational to many. What I don’t know is whether they are paid, although I hear attendance has always been free of charge. But anyway, the point is, the knowledge they share is believed to stimulate the brains of those in the audience listening attentively. These people are invited because they are believed to have facts and details in different areas of influence.

In another instance, people go churches and mosques every Sunday and Friday respectively to praise and worship and to be edified by the sermons given by their religious leaders. We can all read or listen to the Bible or the Qur’an, but our comprehension is different. But a pastor or a Sheikh has that anointing to interpret the Bible or the Qur’an respectively in a way which can inspire the flock. In other words, the pastor or the sheikh has the power or say applied knowledge to inspire the congregation.

Today consultants are highly paid in their area of expertise because of what they know. When you go to the stock markets, speculators earn four digit figures in dollars for providing accurate information.

Lastly, whoever will give accurate information concerning the whereabouts of Flight MH370 will reap highly and probably accredited.

I repeat, is information the new form of currency? I leave that to you!

The writer is a development consultant


 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Makerere University students strike can be averted
On Monday, 20th October 2014, Makerere witnessed yet another student’s strike. It was even reported by some sections of the media that One student had been injured....
Is Uganda
Being in the 91.3 Capital FM studios on Saturday 18th October for the Capital Gang hosted by Mr. Oscar Semweya Musoke reminded me of the saying- a good anvil does not fear the hammer....
Why Vision 2040 is and will still be illusive
Most policies in Uganda are very clear on paper but very ineffectively implemented due to the process always followed while formulating them; a policy should be drafted after a research, needs assessment, or a problem that needs to be solved....
Municipal bonds good, but let
I recently read in one of Uganda’s dailies that the Kampala Capital City Authority (“KCCA”) seeks to issue municipal bonds to raise much needed revenues for development purposes....
Educate a girl and reduce poverty
Despite the enormous progress of Universal Primary Education which has raised primary school enrolment from 2.7 to over 8.2 million in recent years, girls continue to suffer exclusion in education systems....
Scientists should take advantage of the president’s love for science
On several occasions President Museveni has come out to express his love for science and science based initiatives especially in value additions and energy as engines to drive economic growth...
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter