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Microsoft Projects $1.2 Trillion Growth with AI in Africa by 2030

Microsoft's AI initiatives in Africa focus on responsible innovation and addressing diverse challenges for sustainable growth, according to company representatives.

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Microsoft, a leading technology company, has forecasted a significant economic boost for Africa through the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), estimating a potential contribution of $1.2 trillion to the continent’s economy by 2030. This projection is part of a larger global estimate of AI’s impact, set at $15.7 trillion by the same year.

During a virtual session titled “AI Opportunity in Africa” at the African AI Journalists Academy, Theo Watson, a Commercial Lawyer at Microsoft Africa, highlighted the transformative potential of AI. He emphasized that responsible regulation of AI is crucial to maximize its benefits and align its progress with societal values.

“Responsible and sustainable innovation will ensure that AI progress aligns with the needs that define Africa’s vastly diverse cultures.

“This involves a deep engagement with the continent’s unique challenges, recognising their complexity and prioritising those that AI can help solve.

“Also, collaborating with relevant stakeholders will be key to ensuring that AI solutions are not just technologically advanced but also culturally attuned and genuinely beneficial to African societies,’’ the lawyer said.

Highlighting trust and security as crucial, Watson emphasized Microsoft’s AI evolution since 2016, guided by principles of fairness, safety, inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.

Akua Gyekye, Government Affairs Director at Microsoft Africa, emphasized AI’s real-world impact on various sectors, including healthcare, education, agriculture, and infrastructure management. For instance, AI is being leveraged in South Africa’s eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality to optimize water resource management and enhance sanitation services.

“Farmers in Nigeria and Kenya are getting customised advice on farming based on AI, advice on soil and weather data.

“This helps them to make evidence-driven decisions and increase yields using technology to do the research and help find the right use of AI to boost productivity of their workforce,” Gyekye added.

Gyekye highlighted the importance of governance frameworks that promote transparency, academic access, safety protocols, and public-private partnerships to maximize AI’s potential while addressing societal challenges effectively.

“Grounded in responsible regulation and collaborative partnerships, Africa can fully realise the opportunities presented by a future with AI.

“Microsoft believes that when you create powerful technologies, you also must ensure that the technology is developed and used responsibly,” the director stated.

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