ACCRA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) SUMMIT: ADOPT AI TO SPEED UP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA – IMF BOSS URGES AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS

Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has urged African governments to adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a catalyst for rapid economic development across the continent.
According to her, AI presents a unique opportunity towards reshaping the global financial architecture and economies, particularly labour markets.
Speaking at the maiden Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit held in Accra, the IMF boss said the Fund was concerned that growth after the pandemic might continue to be below the annual average, which could affect efforts to improve the living standards of people.
She said the global environment, therefore, needed something that would inject some dynamism into the world economy and that was where AI came in handy.

“This is likely the largest transformation of our economies that we have experienced since the Industrial Revolution. It can be this big bang that allows us to live longer, healthier, better educated, and more productive lives. But it is not a given that we will take advantage of the benefits and manage the risks well. We face urgently the necessity to embrace AI and make the best out of it.” “How concerned we all are at the IMF that growth may be here this year, next year, or the year after,” the IMF MD emphasized.
She also called for key investments in the adoption of AI to inject dynamism into the global economy while ensuring the green transition is also prioritized.

“When we think of what can lift productivity, by far our best chance is in investing in the green transition and the adoption of AI. We desperately need something that would inject more dynamism into the world economy. We also need to recognize that the scale of the impact of AI is gigantic,” When we looked at the labour market’s impact over the next years, in advanced economies some 60% of jobs would be impacted, in emerging markets 40%, in low-income countries 26% and so this is like a tsunami hitting the labour markets.”
Finance Minister Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam taking his turn, urged stakeholders to capitalize on the transformative potential of AI to propel African innovation to new heights. He therefore called on governments, the private sector, development partners and academia to prioritize working together to unlock the huge benefits of technology to create wealth for an independent Africa.

“I only ask that Governments, the private sector, development partners, and academia continue to prioritize working together to ensure we unlock an independent, wealthy future for Africa where technology removes the obstacles that preclude our people, and indeed our Nations from realizing their potential,” said Dr. Amin Adam.
He emphasized the critical role of AI in accelerating productivity and reimagining economic growth in Africa. He stressed the urgency of seizing AI opportunities to achieve long-term economic sustainability and resilience.

“Given the exigencies of the moment, we cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities that AI presents to make a significant leap toward achieving long-term economic sustainability and resilience,” In Ghana, we want to leverage AI to harness the ingenuity and talents of our people so we can build a self-sufficient, safe, and prosperous society capable of delivering jobs and a dignified future for our people,” he added.
Highlighting Ghana’s initiatives in leveraging AI, Dr. Adam mentioned pragmatic innovations such as the GhanaCard, mobile money interoperability (MMI), the National Digital Addressing System, and the Ghana.gov platform for payment of government services.

During the panel discussion, Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, provided insights into Ghana’s efforts to prepare for the AI revolution through investments in digital infrastructure. She affirmed Ghana’s commitment to leveraging AI to drive economic growth and development.

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