The future of Artificial intelligence in Africa: Vision 2050
The world, and indeed the African continent is changing and growing rapidly. The future of tech in Africa cannot be overlooked as Africa is blessed with an abundance of human capital, well-positioned to take advantage of the emerging advances in digital technology across the continent. Development and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in Africa has occurred slowly relative to developed countries. A vibrant AI ecosystem is growing on the continent. Due to the unique geographical, cultural and political nature of the continent, the 4th industrial revolution on the continent is evolving differently from its global counterparts. In the last decades, Africa has steadily been witnessing development in various sectors, in striving to achieve those development, technology has been a major ally enabling innovations, revolutionizing trade and socio-economic activity, education, health, industry, and many more sectors.
How can Africa embrace a tech-driven economy
Artificial Intelligence has grown to be one of the most widely used technologies today. The global economic returns of the fourth industrial revolution are expected to be close to $16 trillion. AI is predicted to be the driving force behind this revolution. However, a number of structural challenges undermine rapid adoption and implementation of AI on the continent. Inadequate basic and digital infrastructure seriously erodes efforts to activate AI-powered solutions as it reduces crucial connectivity. Africa can be positioned for the new tech economy by;
It is essential for Africa to improve your skills in Artificial Intelligence and continue to
expand knowledge. Staying up-to-date with the latest technological changes and
trends will give Africa an edge over the rest of the individuals and help retain jobs or
even get much better opportunities.
Investments in research and development
Africa must invest heavily in research and development in order to march up to the rest of the world. Africa must develop innovative financial instruments and public-private partnerships to fund human capital development, including a focus on industrial research and innovation hubs that bridge the gap between higher education institutions and the private sector to ensure the transition of AI products from lab to market
Creating responsive education systems
This entails reviewing and updating the education curricula at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Equipping Africa especially youth with technical skills like digital fluency will empower them to assume responsibilities like coding and virtual designing, which will be in demand in the digital economy. In addition, soft skills like creativity and adaptability will enable Africa to thrive in a fast-paced digital economy in which employment will likely be more about brief online tasks than long-term onsite jobs.
Formulating policies for the digital economy
Given the uncertainties of the technological revolution and the consequent susceptibility of the digital economy to cyber-crime and monopolies, African nations must formulate regulatory policies that keep stakeholders in check. Such policies will help to create an environment in which young people’s digital enterprises can grow, and in which appropriate education and employment opportunities will be accessible to all young people. Policies that promote life-long education in organizations are also critical in helping our youth easily adapt to volatile environments. In addition, formulating digital policies is vital for African nations to guard against situations where young people are the perpetrators or victims of data theft and invasion of privacy, among other ethical issues plaguing the digital space. African nations should, however, be careful not to stifle creativity, innovation and warranted freedoms in this process of regulating the digital economy.
Optimizing public-private cooperation
Collaboration between governments, multinational development banks and the private sector will create room for innovative financial models which promote upskilling in Africa. This will also reduce inequalities caused by duplication of efforts, especially when establishing digital infrastructure in African nations. Public-private cooperation will therefore enable more young Africans to access training programs and digital infrastructure.
Preparing for the future
With the pace of technological advancements, and as we enter the future of AI, it becomes essential to overcome any limitations that can curb this growth in Africa. We must be open to technological changes and be prepared to adapt to the changing times. To avoid missed opportunities, African business leaders, policymakers, and individuals alike must work towards and embrace an AI-driven future. AI is a tool that can be used to transform growth and enhance productivity. Africa has the choice of moving ahead with the changing times and embracing these changes, but we must be well-prepared.