Education Minister urges universities to harness AI for climate change and economic development


The government has urged universities to leverage artificial intelligence in addressing various challenges, including the impacts of climate change.

Education Minister, Douglas Syakalima, stated the importance of research aimed at improving technology across economic sectors during the 53rd graduation ceremony of the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka on Monday, where 5,414 students graduated.

Syakalima highlighted the significance of advancing technology in agriculture, mining, energy, digitization and education, which are critical to the country’s development agenda.

“It is imperative for UNZA, through technology, to take the lead in advancing the agenda of delivering education beyond traditional brick-and-mortar setups,” Syakalima stated.

He further challenged UNZA to produce innovative graduates focused on enhancing their economic status and contributing to the country’s macroeconomic growth through sustainable development initiatives.

Syakalima underscored the importance of transitioning from academic excellence to self-sufficiency, emphasizing adaptability, resilience and a forward-thinking mindset.

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“The education acquired from the university should empower graduates to be critical thinkers and innovators, aiming to improve society for themselves and future generations,” the minister said.

He added that the digital revolution, marked by automation, artificial intelligence and interconnected systems was reshaping development.

It was crucial for UNZA and other universities to explore the intersection of innovation, industrialisation and education to drive the country towards a self-reliant future.

Regarding school infrastructure, Syakalima reiterated the government’s commitment to prioritising stalled projects, ensuring that contractors resume work by the end of June.

“Government is reactivating stalled hostels, which are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025,” the minister assured.

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