How AI can benefit key industries in Africa

Discover how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing multiple sectors in Africa, from agriculture to transportation, addressing critical challenges and improving lives.

Paula Eltringham
June 9, 2023
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Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform various sectors in Africa and improve the lives of citizens across the continent. From healthcare and education to agriculture and financial services, AI can play a vital role in addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing Africa today.

Agriculture

Over the years, AI has redefined farming, and technological advancements have had a variety of effects on the agriculture sector. Agriculture is the mainstay occupation in many countries worldwide and with rising population, which as per UN projections will increase from 7.5 billion to 9.7 billion in 2050, there will be more pressure on land as there will be only an extra 4% of land, which will come under cultivation by 2050. This means that farmers will have to do more with less. The same survey estimates that in order to feed an additional two billion people, food production must rise by 60%. Traditional approaches, though, are unable to meet this enormous demand. This is pushing farmers and agro businesses to develop fresh strategies for raising output and cutting waste. As a result, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is steadily becoming a part of the technological advancement of the agriculture sector. The challenge is to increase the global food production by 50% by 2050 to feed an additional two billion people.AI-powered solutions will not only enable farmers to improve efficiencies but they will also improve quantity, quality and ensure faster go-to-market for crops.

Every day, farms produce thousands of data points on temperature, soil, usage of water, weather condition, etc. This data is used in real-time by artificial intelligence and machine learning models to gain insightful knowledge, such as when to plant seeds, which crops to choose, which hybrid seeds to choose for higher yields, and other things. Precision agriculture, also known as artificial intelligence systems, is assisting in enhancing the overall quality and accuracy of harvests. AI technology helps in detecting disease in plants, pests and poor nutrition of farms. Artificial intelligence (AI) sensors can identify and target weeds before deciding which herbicide to use in the area. This lowers the need for herbicides and lowers costs. Many technological firms created robots that precisely monitor and spray weeds using computer vision and artificial intelligence.

Transportation

Since the introduction of AI technology in the transportation sector, many things have taken a gradual turn as AI has brought many improvements. Many businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict crashes based on environmental and other factors. AI is being used to predict accidents. Integration of artificial intelligence and electric vehicles is another fantastic development. Because they emit fewer pollutants than other types of vehicles, electric vehicles significantly help to reduce environmental pollution. Connect Transit, which employs electric buses with AI integration, is a great example of one of these. Additionally, the development of self-driving cars with traffic detection capabilities is a result of artificial intelligence. Because self-driving cars can detect the paths of pedestrians and cyclists thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), fewer traffic accidents will occur. This significantly improves road safety. 

Artificial intelligence can be used to reduce traffic congestion on roads, resulting in smoother traffic flow. Many smart cities around the world use AI traffic management systems to control traffic flow, and with the help of AI, drivers can be alerted to dangerous spots on a given road or route. AI is also capable of foreseeing traffic jams and potential security threats. Although it is still in its infancy, artificial intelligence  in transportation has the potential to completely transform the industry. The rate of adoption of AI in this field has been impacted by trust. The lack of proper regulation, certification, and standardization of AI tools in the transportation industry exacerbates the lack of trust. However, adoption of AI in transportation will follow once public policy on AI has fully developed as safety will be ensured and as a result.

In conclusion, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform many industries in Africa, tackling pressing problems and enhancing the quality of life for people. AI-powered solutions in agriculture help farmers improve productivity, boost food production, and cut waste. AI-driven robots help with weed control, while precision agriculture and AI sensors find diseases, pests, and nutritional deficiencies. Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a role in managing traffic flow, integrating electric vehicles, enhancing road safety, and predicting and preventing accidents. The full adoption of AI in transportation will happen once safety is guaranteed, even though trust and regulation are still essential. Overall, AI has enormous potential to transform a variety of industries in Africa.

As seen on FOX, Digital journal, NCN, Market Watch, Bezinga and more

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