Navigating a united AI strategy

Bill Dan  Borodi 

What you need to know:

  • By collaborating on AI initiatives, African countries will harness the power of technology to generate innovation, economic growth, and sustainable development.

President Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa’s analogy of Africa being like a house with different rooms representing different countries is a creative way to illustrate the interconnectedness of the  African nations.

The concept of enabling free movement within Africa by eliminating the need for visas has long been debated by numerous politicians and activists as a means of improving regional integration and cooperation on the continent.

Indeed, the African Union has been working towards the objective of a united Africa with projects such as the African Continental Free commerce Area (AfCFTA) and the African Union Passport, which aim to facilitate commerce, migration, and cooperation amongst  African countries. These projects recognise the value of unity and collaboration in realising the continent’s full potential.

Just as individuals move freely within the confines of a house, Artificial Intelligence (AI)  technologies have the potential to traverse various domains and industries, revolutionising  the way we work and interact with technology .

When it comes to  AI, a united strategy for Africa would involve governments working together to harness AI’s potential for the benefit of everyone. This might; include pooling resources, talent, and data to create AI solutions that solve common concerns confronting African countries, such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and infrastructure development.

By collaborating on AI initiatives, African countries will harness the power of technology to generate innovation, economic growth, and sustainable development across the continent. Building a cohesive AI strategy in Africa would include collaboration, cooperation, and a unified vision for harnessing technology to better the lives of all Africans.

The question of AI legal framework and regulation has been a pivotal discussion on the global stage, with the European Union (EU) adopting the EU AI Act in 2021, making it the first EC regulatory framework to classify risk with regulation, implying that the level of risk posed by AI systems informs the level of regulation.

African countries, in my opinion, should pool their resources and collaborate to develop a robust AI legal framework adapted to African needs, on top of a strong AI structure. According to statista forecasts, the AI market in Europe is predicted to rise roughly by 35 percent in 2024, which is significant growth for any market .

As we freely move within the house , it becomes important for us to have a unified data African  centre to serve all the interests of different corners within the house putting us on similar footing with other continents.

The United States had by far the greatest amount of AI companies in major western economies in 2023, with around 15,000 companies engaging in the field. The European Union was considerably behind, with only 6,000. The UK alone at nearly 9,000, a significant achievement in comparison to the immense economic size of its competitors . This shows the need for the housemates to work together as a united front .

President Museveni’s appeal for free movement within Africa is consistent with the continent’s overarching goal of encouraging unity, collaboration, and integration. By working together to harness the potential of AI, African countries may uncover new prospects for growth, innovation, and development that benefits all nations in the “house” of Africa.

Mr Bill Dan  Borodi is a journalist, and Media and Communication Lead at Otic Foundation. [email protected]