Monday, July 15, 2024

Zambia and The EU Join Forces to Develop AI Strategy and Regulatory Framework


Zambia Collaborates with the EU on Developing AI Strategy

Zambia is actively developing a strategy and a regulatory framework aimed at fostering the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, according to the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The announcement was made during the Future of AI in Africa Conference held in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, signaling the nation’s commitment to embracing the digital future.

In an ambitious move to join the ranks of African nations leveraging AI technology, Zambia has sought collaboration with the Tony Blair Institute to craft its AI strategy. The initiative places Zambia on the map alongside countries like Rwanda, which is working on a National AI Policy, and Nigeria, which has launched a multi-lingual large language model (LLM) trained in local languages. Also, it comes in the wake of the African Union’s adoption of the Continental AI Strategy last month, aimed at setting a common AI vision for Africa.

The Zambian government is not only focused on crafting an AI strategy but is also prioritizing the establishment of regulatory frameworks to support the technology’s growth within the nation. A partnership with the European Union is underway to develop the Startup Bill, which seeks to eliminate barriers hindering AI adoption.

Furthermore, to ensure that AI operates within legal boundaries and flourishes amidst growing challenges, the government is revising the current Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act to accommodate AI advancements. This includes strategies to integrate enterprise blockchain systems, enhancing data security and the immutability of records—an essential component for AI’s effective operation.

In a stirring appeal, Minister Felix Mutati emphasized the transformative potential of AI, urging Zambians to adopt the technology for better insights, decision-making, and overall improvement of quality of life. Addressing another critical obstacle to AI adoption—the skills gap—Mutati advocated for the integration of AI studies into Zambia’s educational curriculum, particularly at the college level, to prepare future generations for the impending AI era.

Already showing tangible benefits, AI technologies are being implemented in key public sectors within Zambia. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), as highlighted by Commissioner General Dingani Banda, utilizes AI for data analysis, fraud detection, and customer service through chatbots, showcasing the technology’s versatility and efficiency.

Despite the continent’s slow pace in AI adoption compared to other regions—as reflected in the recent AI Preparedness Index by the IMF where Africa scored a 0.34 compared to North America’s 0.74 and Europe’s 0.63—initiatives like Zambia’s are pivotal in narrowing this gap. With proper strategies, regulatory frameworks, and educational reforms, Zambia’s journey into AI could serve as a beacon for the entire African continent in leveraging technology for economic and social advancement.

The integration of AI and enterprise blockchain is deemed crucial for the technology to operate optimally within the confines of the law and to thrive amidst challenges. Ens traveled methods of keeping data secure and ensuring the integrity of data records will bolster the adoption and functionality of AI technologies across various sectors.

As Zambia forges ahead with its AI initiatives, the focus on legislation, partnerships, and education highlights a comprehensive approach towards maximizing the benefits of artificial intelligence for its citizens and setting a precedent for AI adoption and policy-making in Africa.

Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience covering the dynamic world of business and finance. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, Alex has become a respected voice in the industry. Before joining our business blog, Alex reported for major financial news outlets, where they developed a reputation for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. Alex's work is driven by a commitment to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Whether it's breaking down complex economic trends or highlighting emerging business opportunities, Alex's writing is accessible, informative, and always engaging.

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