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Microsoft Projects $1.2 Trillion Boost to Africa’s Economy Through AI by 2030

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Tech giant Microsoft forecasts that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could contribute approximately $1.2 trillion to Africa’s economy by 2030, as part of a global projection of $15.7 trillion. Theo Watson, a Commercial Lawyer at Microsoft Africa, shared these projections during his presentation titled “AI Opportunity in Africa” at the African AI Journalists Academy held virtually. Watson emphasised the importance of responsible AI regulation to maximise opportunities and benefits.

He stressed the need for innovation aligned with human values and societal norms, ensuring that AI progress addresses Africa’s diverse challenges.

Microsoft’s journey with AI dating back to 2016 prioritises trust and security rooted in principles of fairness, rehabilitation and safety, privacy and security, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability.

During the webinar, Akua Gyekye, Government Affairs Director at Microsoft Africa, highlighted AI’s transformative impact across various sectors in Africa. Examples include eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in South Africa leveraging AI to optimise water management, and farmers in Nigeria and Kenya receiving customised farming advice based on AI-driven insights.

Gyekye outlined blueprints for governing AI to accelerate opportunities in Africa, emphasising transparency, public access to AI, safety measures for critical infrastructure, and fostering public-private partnerships to address societal challenges.

Microsoft’s projections underscore the potential of AI to drive economic growth, improve service delivery, and address pressing societal issues across Africa.

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