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General News Tue, 21 May 2019

National planning must include artificial intelligence — Chinery-Hesse

African governments must create synergies with technology experts to formulate tailored policies to help propel rapid development in the continent, the Executive Chairman of Softribe, Mr Herman Chinery-Hesse, has advocated.

Mr Chinery-Hesse, who was speaking during a panel discussion at the fourth Ghana CEOs summit in Accra yesterday, explained that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would soon determine how businesses and all human activities were conducted and Africans must be well prepared to take full advantage of the benefits associated with such technology.

As a result, he said, governments in Africa must make stringent efforts to create their own data platforms that would employ AI to formulate tailored policies to bring the needed development.

Solutions

“The future is platforms, the future is Artificial Intelligence so we have to be very careful not to get re-colonised because the data we talk about, if it does not live in platforms that belongs to Ghana or Ghanaians then how does it benefit us, what are we selling?” Mr Chinery-Hesse quizzed.

The event, held on the theme: The Futuristic Economy: Technology- Driven Future of Business & Governance for Economic Transformation, brought together business leaders and public officials to find ways of using technology to foster development.

Collaborations

Mr Chinery-Hesse said with the advent of AI, it had become more prudent for policy makers to work closely with technology experts in developing countries to create jobs and find solutions to problems peculiar to the continent.

“It is, especially, important because there is going to be massive unemployment going forward, therefore, with the advent of AI, our politicians need to work closely with experts in the technology sector,” he said.

Mr Chinery-Hesse explained that with governments working closer with experts in technology, new ways would be developed to aid progress in Africa.

“There are a lot of stuff that is going to happen if we adopt technology and use it well.

For instance, there is a green house in Marseille, a single green house that employs about 50 people but it produces 30 per cent of all the tomatoes that is consumed in France on a daily basis. An investor in Ghana is putting one together now and its going to produce daily more tomatoes than what West Africa consumes and we will have to export some to Europe.

“We are sitting here and talking about jobs, but we have not tweaked our educational system to reflect the new trends in technology, but very soon it is going to be impossible for anybody holding a cutlass to compete in tomato production in this kind of arena,” he said.

He noted that with the right collaborations and use of AI, Africa could develop rapidly, taking into account the vibrant youth across the continent.

“We have to be very serious and we will have social strive because our youth population is one of the fastest growing in the world, we, therefore, need a situation where national planning includes artificial intelligence,” he noted.

Source: Graphic.com.gh