African countries rank lowest on the AI readiness index globally 🧠

African countries rank lowest on the AI readiness index globally 🧠

According to a report by Oxford Insights, African countries rank lowest on the AI readiness index globally. However, Mauritius, South Africa, and Seychelles are leading the drive. Despite the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) in Africa being on the rise with governments formulating national strategies to drive the adoption, the readiness of countries on the continent is below the global average.

African countries rank the lowest on the global AI readiness index, as per a report by Oxford Insights. While artificial intelligence (AI) adoption is growing across the continent, the readiness of African countries remains below the global average. Notably, Mauritius, South Africa, and Seychelles are leading in AI readiness.

The Government AI Readiness Index 2022 ranks 181 countries based on three pillars: government, technology sector, and data and infrastructure. Mauritius ranks as the top African government ready for AI, with a score of 53.38 out of 100. Egypt follows as the second African country, ahead of South Africa, Tunisia, and others.

Mauritius and Egypt excel in the "government" pillar due to their national AI strategies, online services, data protection laws, and cybersecurity strategies. Data and infrastructure pillar leaders include South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco, and others, driven by telecommunications infrastructure and data availability.

However, African countries struggle in the "technology sector" pillar due to factors like limited investment in software, STEM graduates, and digital skills. Overall, Sub-Saharan Africa's AI readiness average score is 29.38, below the global average of 44.61.

Despite challenges, many African nations are taking steps to push data protection, important for AI proliferation. The African Union's role in collaboration and generating model AI and data protection legislation is also emphasized. Although AI funding has recently decreased significantly in Africa, the technology holds the potential to boost the African economy by $1.5 trillion by 2030.

Efforts to address the AI skill gap are underway in various countries, such as Senegal's AI programming school and Microsoft's AI University Programme in South Africa. The Nigerian government has collaborated with Google Developers Group to train AI developers, aiming to leverage digital technologies for economic growth.

Oxford Insights suggests that Africa's slower AI adoption provides an opportunity for strong regulations and investment in digital literacy to shape the sector's future effectively.

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