Artificial Intelligence governance is needed now that the technology’s development has accelerated globally with concerns regarding its usage growing, a Fellow at the Centre for Technology Innovation, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution, Chinasa Okolo, has disclosed.
In a publication by the African Growth Initiative at Brookings titled ‘Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2024,’ Okolo stated that only seven African nations (Benin, Egypt, Ghana, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tunisia) had drafted national AI strategies, and none had started a formal implementation of AI regulation.
She argued that data plays a fundamental role in AI development and warrants regulation.
According to her, only 36 out of 54 African countries have established formal data protection regulations.
She said, “To bolster AI governance initiatives, African nations should consider data governance as a viable pathway toward regulating AI, facilitating its responsible utilisation and development as this transformative technology continues to evolve.
“Data protection regulation, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), has laid a strong foundation for the EU to develop and draft the EU AI Act, which is expected to be fully implemented by 2026.
“However, the advent of large language models and the increasing utilisation of data workers have changed prevalent narratives around the production and use of data.”
In an interview shared on her LinkedIn page over the weekend, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, said of AI regulation, “Governments have to wake up and take this very seriously… How do you regulate something that changes so rapidly, and how do you regulate it to bring the risks of misinformation, and disinformation, down, but grab the productivity benefits?”
Nigeria is currently working on a national strategy to harness the power of AI for sustainable development.
The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, said of the move, “With collaborative leadership, Nigeria seeks to pioneer ethical and inclusive Al innovation that improves welfare and expands opportunities for all its citizens.”