Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Kandjii-Murangi says Africa should look at how AI can power blue, green economy technologies
The Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation Dr. Itah Kandjii-Murangi on Wednesday said Africa should look at how artificial intelligence (AI) can power the blue, green, and grey economy technologies to address the increasing youth unemployment challenge, food security issues in the region.
Speaking at the Southern Africa sub-Regional Forum on artificial intelligence in Windhoek, Kandjii-Murangi said, societies will only embrace the promises and potential of AI if tangible solutions to developmental challenges are available.
“This Forum should avail policy relevant inputs on how the 4IR enabling technologies, such as AI can be leveraged responsibly to address some of the development challenges. It is my fervent hope that deliberations from the well-thought program for this Forum, will yield actionable key takeaways which are going to digitally transform our economies; address societal challenges as well as speak directly to our various national development agendas,” she said.
She said it is high time that policymakers ask the right questions to validate AI solutions that they may be advocating for economic growth and societal relevance.
“Are we using AI that embeds untoward biases and inequities? Are we having the right technological solutions for the developmental challenges on the ground, spanning from green energy, healthcare, food shortages, climate change, and youth unemployment – to digital exclusion,” she said.
According to Kandjii-Murangi, while playing catch up, the global south countries are facing a dilemma of balancing between sustainable technological consumption and addressing technology development gaps.
A reality check is now needed on whether we have AI for development or we are missing some key ingredients to harvest the full potential of AI, in the name of playing catch-up, she said
She said, Africa, can only conclude to have development-oriented AI if it does not violate any cultural values where it is supposed to benefit the concerned citizens.
UNESCO in collaboration with the Namibian government is hosting the three-day forum which started Wednesday under the theme “Towards a sustainable development-oriented and ethical use of artificial intelligence.
The meeting includes AI experts, Southern African ministers, policymakers, business leaders, and civil society.