Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has issued a call to African leaders, urging them to stay attuned to the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.
Dr. Bawumia is of the view that cutting-edge technologies and artificial intelligence have the power to transform African economies.
Speaking to the Africa Policy Journal, he emphasized that Africa cannot afford to lag behind and must seize the opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution to drive rapid socioeconomic development by harnessing technological progress.
“We were left behind in the first, second and third industrial revolutions, but we should not be left out in the fourth industrial revolution. I think that artificial intelligence applied properly will be a big boost to Africa to help us leapfrog and help us catch up in many areas. I think that AI should be seen as a tool to assist us”, he said.
Touching on key areas of transformation, Dr. Bawumia noted that health, education and agriculture should be critical areas for the digitization revolution on the continent.
“I see three main areas that we in Africa can use AI; health. If we have many doctors and nurses using ChatGPT 4 to ask questions, they can get very accurate answers in providing healthcare. We already have drones supplying essential medicines, vaccines blood supplies to remote areas in saving lives.”
“These are practical benefits of AI, and we need to embrace it. Also in education, it is not everywhere we have teachers but with these tools, we can get teachers. The same can be said with agriculture. So, I think that if we focus on some of these areas, Africa can always benefit.”
With the introduction of sophisticated technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and advanced automation, the fourth industrial revolution has the potential to increase productivity and efficiencies.
“In terms of these technologies, Africa comes to the table with no legacy systems. We can find many areas to leapfrog that the developed countries will find difficult to follow. So, we should not use the developed countries as a measure. We have to chart our own course because they have a different set of facts on the grounds from us. So, we shouldn’t be intimidated.”