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AI is the best chance to overcome low productivity – IMF Managing Director

March 19, 2024
AI is the best chance to overcome low productivity – IMF Managing Director

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the (), has emphasized the transformative potential of (AI) adoption in African economies. Speaking at a conference jointly organized by the , Ministry of Communications and Digitalization, and the IMF in on Monday, March 18, Ms Georgieva highlighted the pivotal role of AI in addressing longstanding challenges such as low productivity and labour market issues across African countries.

Under the theme “AI as a Catalyst to Transforming Economies in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Ms Georgieva underscored the urgency for African governments to bolster their readiness to harness the myriad opportunities presented by AI while mitigating associated risks and ethical concerns. She emphasized the importance of ensuring inclusivity in all facets of AI integration into human life.

“Artificial Intelligence is our best chance to overcome long-term low productivity,” Ms Georgieva asserted, emphasizing the potential of AI adoption to lead to longer, healthier, and more productive lives. She urged swift action to embrace AI fully and maximize its benefits.

Citing a study by the IMF indicating that 40% of jobs in emerging markets, including Africa, would be impacted by AI, Ms Georgieva stressed the imperative for African economies to invest in digital infrastructure, human capital development, and regulatory frameworks conducive to AI innovation and .

Echoing Ms Georgieva's sentiments, Dr , Ghana's Finance Minister, emphasized the substantial economic opportunities AI presents, projecting a potential contribution of up to US$1.2 trillion to the African economy by 2030. He underscored the need for urgent action to seize these opportunities, emphasizing the importance of investment in internet access, digital infrastructure, and education.

Addressing the costs associated with embracing AI solutions, Minister Amin Adam outlined the investment requirements, including US$100 billion by 2030 for internet access and digital infrastructure improvement, and US$1 billion over the next five years for STEM education.

Minister -Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitalization, highlighted Ghana's strides in digitization, including the development of a digitized national identity card and digital addressing system. She stressed the need for continued investment in connectivity infrastructure and the development of regulatory frameworks to leverage AI opportunities while mitigating risks.

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