Zambia seeks more investments in Artificial Intelligence


Zambia has called for assistance from partners to support developing countries to increase investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Thabo Kawana, also called for collaborative efforts for developing countries to make investments towards increasing the use of AI.

Kawana said this on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, United States.

He spoke on the role of AI in achieving food security and poverty alleviation.

He acknowledged in a statement issued in Lusaka that AI was a power tool in transforming food systems and addressing the challenges of food security and poverty.

“By investing in artificial intelligence solutions, we can create a safer, more nutritious and resilient food system that benefits everyone,” Kawana stated.

He said given the current situation in Zambia where the country had experienced a prolonged dry spell leading to drought, AI can play an integral part in creating early warning systems and climate adaptation approaches.

Kawana added that the application of AI can be key in analysing weather data, satellite imagery and economic indicators to predict food shortages and enable protective interventions.

“Further, Artificial Intelligence can be used in hydrological surveys to identify underground aquifers in addition to helping farmers adapt to changing weather patterns,” he stated.

Kawana acknowledged developing countries lacked necessary infrastructure in form of internet connectivity and energy coupled with limited technological literacy to fully utilize AI.

Read More: Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in focus as Zambia set to mark World Consumer Rights Day

He called for the expansion of AI with caution where high gender inequalities exist in order not to further disadvantage women and girls in terms of acces to job opportunities and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

“We indicated that AI presents a window of opportunities for developing countries like ours and at the same time presents challenges and limitations that may arise as a result of limited infrastructure and access to technologies,” Kawana added.

He noted that there were also concerns to do with job displacement, data bias, ethical concerns including the widening gender gap in ICTs.

Kawana stated that the future wealth of nations could depend on having a broad base of AI services that strengthen participation in existing global value chains hence the government would support efforts aimed at developing such solutions.

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