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MISA Regional submissions to the AU on the development of a continental AI strategy

30 Apr, 2024
This post was broadcasted from MISA Regional.
MISA Regional has filed submissions to the African Union on developing a continental strategy on Artificial Intelligence. MISA has a model AI Regulatory Framework for Southern Africa from which it predicated its submissions to the continental body.

The advent and impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) present society with many opportunities and challenges that require a human-centred approach to its development and deployment.

All stakeholders should, therefore, be involved in developing regulations and policies that ensure a human-centred approach, given AI’s potential to revolutionise the education and health sectors and financial technology, among others.

It is therefore commendable that the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Executive Council endorsed the conceptual framework and tasked the AU Commission with expediting the development of a Continental Strategy on AI in line with the AU Agenda 2063 goals.

Against this background, the AU Commission established and operationalised a working group on AI composed of AU Member States and Pan-African organisations to support and guide the development of a continental approach.

To this end, MISA Regional has filed submissions to the African Union on developing a continental strategy on Artificial Intelligence. MISA has a model AI Regulatory Framework for Southern Africa from which it predicated its submissions to the continental body.

The submissions highlighted the need to address and mitigate risks posed to Africa. These risks include, among others:

  • Bias and discrimination.
  • Privacy and data security concerns.
  • Surveillance,

To mitigate them, Africa needs to:

  • Embrace innovation.
  • Develop and strengthen ethical frameworks, data protection legislation and ensure independent oversight mechanisms.
  • Promote media literacy.
  • Promote regional collaboration.
  • Bridge the digital divide.

In essence, Africa needs its governments to commit to and be interested in developing a strategic vision for AI development and management backed by appropriate democratic laws.

About MISA

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

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