African Ministers Adopt AI Strategy to Boost Africa's Development and Inclusive Growth

 - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 19.06.2024
From June 11 to 13, the African Union held an extraordinary online session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Communications and ICT, attended by more than 130 African ministers and experts, to stimulate the digital transformation of the continent.
The African ICT and Communications Ministers have unanimously approved a Continental Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy and African Digital Compact to expedite Africa's digital transformation by harnessing the promise of emerging digital technologies, the African Union stated.
The strategy offers direction to African nations on how to use AI to achieve Africa's development goals and improve the welfare of its population, while also advocating for ethical practices, mitigating possible dangers, and capitalizing on possibilities.
Furthermore, it emphasizes the need for Africa to prioritize and take action in order to take full advantage of the significant opportunities presented by AI. The strategy calls for an approach that is Africa-centered, focused on development, and inclusive of its people while aiming to accelerate the AI capabilities of African countries in areas such as infrastructure, human capital, datasets, innovation, partnerships, education and skills, healthcare, agriculture, peace, security, and good governance.

"For us Africans, Artificial Intelligence presents tremendous opportunities. It is a driving force for positive transformational positive change as well as economic growth and social progress," African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy Amani Abou-Zeid was quoted as saying.

In this photo of Monday July 2, 2018, Getnet Assefa, the Founder and CEO of iCog Labs is photographed with humanoid robot Sophia at the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 31.12.2023
Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan African Countries Most Open to Artificial Intelligence
Moreover, during the meeting, the ministerial committee also approved the African Digital Compact, a shared vision that outlines Africa’s digital future. This compact aims to use digital technologies to support development, economic growth, and societal well-being across the continent.
According to Abou-Zeid, the compact represents Africa’s plan to drive inclusive and sustainable progress through digital transformation. She praised the initiative, saying it will make Africa a leader in the global digital economy as both a consumer and an innovator. She also stressed the importance of developing local talent and strengthening public-private partnerships to support homegrown digital solutions.
Africa has every chance of achieving a high global position in the implementation of AI. At the end of December, an Oxford Insights report stated that the sub-Saharan part of the continent has made real progress in its approach to AI. Several countries have published national strategies, while others are working with the United Nations to comply with its ethical recommendations.