The Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Africa can overcome challenges of poverty, food insecurity, healthcare, among others.
Speaking at a recent event in Abuja, Danbatta said: “In recent years, we have witnessed remarkable advancements in AI across various sectors, including healthcare, agriculture, finance, transportation, education, and even governance.
AI-powered solutions have the potential to address some of Africa’s most pressing challenges, such as limited access to healthcare, food security, financial inclusion, and infrastructure development.
However, for Africa to fully embrace the benefits of AI, we must address several critical factors. First, we must invest in building the necessary digital infrastructure. This includes expanding broadband connectivity.
In Nigeria, as of July 2023, the broadband penetration stood at 47.01%. Also, the continent must commit to ensuring reliable power supply and fostering a conducive regulatory environment.
Without robust infrastructure, the potential of AI will remain untapped, and the digital divide will further widen. Secondly, we must prioritize digital skills development. AI technologies require a skilled workforce capable of developing, deploying, and maintaining these systems.
We need to invest in education and training programs that equip our youth with the necessary skills to participate in the AI-driven economy. By nurturing a generation of AI experts, we can elevate Africa’s position in the global AI landscape and create job opportunities for our youth.”