The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has urged African nations to make artificial intelligence (AI) a top priority in their efforts to drive economic growth and advance social development.
Danbatta delivered this message during the recently concluded 11th edition of the Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition held in Abuja, Nigeria. Represented by Dr. Emilia Nwokolo, Head of Consumer Information and Education at the NCC, Danbatta highlighted the transformative potential of AI across various industries, emphasizing its ability to boost productivity and enhance the well-being of citizens.
He underscored that AI technologies can effectively address some of Africa’s most critical challenges, including limited access to healthcare, food security, financial inclusion, and infrastructure development. However, Danbatta stressed that to fully harness the benefits of AI, Africa must address key factors such as building essential digital infrastructure, prioritizing the development of digital skills, and ensuring ethical considerations guide AI adoption.
Danbatta also called for collaborative efforts and partnerships involving governments, regulatory bodies, academia, the private sector, and civil society to unlock AI’s potential in Africa. He expressed the NCC’s commitment to supporting AI technology development and deployment in Nigeria and across the continent, including the establishment of enabling regulatory frameworks and the promotion of AI research centers, incubation hubs, and startup ecosystems to nurture local AI talent.
This year’s Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition, themed “Artificial Intelligence and Africa,” brought together experts from across the continent to explore the latest trends in AI and its potential to revolutionize Africa’s digital landscape.
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