A gender perspective on the use of artificial intelligence in Africa’s fintech industry: Case studies from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana
Research ICT Africa delivered a paper at the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) 23rd Biennial Conference under the title A gender perspective on the use of artificial intelligence in Africa’s fintech industry: Case studies from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. The paper explores the potential opportunities and challenges of the use of AI in the fintech ecosystem (FE) alongside its impact on gender equality in four African countries; South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. The research found that the prevalence of ‘tech bro culture’ in the African fintech ecosystem hinders women’s participation in the industry and restricts the innovation of financial products targeting the financial inclusion of women, which in turn amplifies gender biases. The paper argues that despite the benefits of AI in FEs represented in boosting workplace gender diversity, restructuring credit models and financial services, and enhancing financial services data, it also presents some harms including a negative impact on FE workforce, weak algorithmic transparency and opacity, and data limitations, biased datasets, and poorly designed algorithms.