African ministers endorse AI strategy for digital growth

The AI Strategy aims to harness AI for development, ensuring ethical use while minimising risks and maximising opportunities.

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African ICT and Communications Ministers have collectively endorsed the ‘Continental Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy and African Digital Compact’ to accelerate the continent’s digital evolution by harnessing the potential of new digital technologies. The decision came during the 2nd Extraordinary Specialized Technical Committee on Communication and ICT session, attended by over 130 African ministers and experts. The aim is to drive digital transformation amidst rapid advancements fueled by AI technology and applications.

The Continental AI Strategy aims to guide African nations in utilising AI to fulfil development goals while ensuring ethical use, mitigating risks, and capitalising on opportunities. It emphasises an Africa-owned, people-centred, and inclusive approach to enhance the continent’s AI capabilities across infrastructure, talent, datasets, innovation, and partnerships while prioritising safeguards against potential threats.

African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, highlighted AI’s significant opportunities for positive transformation, economic growth, and social progress in Africa. The strategy underscores the importance of AI-enabled systems in fostering homegrown solutions, driving economic growth, and sustainable development, aligning with the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Leaders stressed the need for collective efforts to leverage AI to advance Africa’s digital agenda and achieve long-term developmental objectives.