June 24, 2024
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Artificial Intelligence Shouldn’t widen gender gap – Expert warns

According to the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), women farmers in Ghana constitute nearly half of the country’s crop producers.

However, they battle with a myriad of challenges including a lack of land ownership and limited access to finance, inputs and markets and a lack of political voice as compared to their male counterparts.

With the accelerated use of Artificial Intelligence in agriculture, the Gender and Exclusivity officer of the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (RAIL-KNUST), Dr. Rita Udor anticipates a worsening situation.

She is therefore warning of female exclusion with the use of Artificial Intelligence in the agriculture sector.

“As we think of AI in the agric sector, I believe that it must not be used to widen the already existing gap,” she said.

Speaking at the AfricaAI Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, she revealed her outfit has put in place measures to ensure optimum female representation in especially the AI in Agriculture space.

Dr. Udor was a member of a panel of experts that discussed how AI is being used to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and help vulnerable communities plan for and adapt to climate change.

CEO of  KaraAgro AI, Darlington Akogo who was also part of the panel, told stakeholders to be “proactive in managing the risk of AI in agriculture.”

International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Niyel are organizing the inaugural AfricAI Conference to provide a forum for exchange, learning and networking between key AI stakeholders.
Invest in AI in key sectors; make budget allocations-governments urged

The Scientific Director of the Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab(RAIL), Prof. Jerry John Kponyo is asking governments for investment in AI in key sectors of the economy.

Speaking at the maiden AfricaAI conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Prof. Kponyo noted it’s crucial for economic transformation.

RAIL is under the Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa (AI4D) Multidisciplinary Labs project initiated by International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

The lab seeks to develop talent in Data Science and Machine Learning to help bridge the widening skills gap needed to champion the Digital Economic Transformation agenda of Ghana and the Subregion.

Prof. Kponyo, however, thinks funds internally generated from investments will make the gains sustainable.

“What external donors are helping us to do is to show us that there are examples of how AI can transform key sectors of the economy.

“Governments must prioritise the injection of the technology in key sectors of the economy and make budget allocations,” he said.

Project Engineer and Satellite Labs Lead, RAIL-Senegal, Prof. Mouhamadou Lamine BA, encouraged utilisation of local AI solutions.

“We must promote innovations from local AI solutions,” he said.

International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Niyel are organizing the inaugural AfricAI Conference to provide a forum for exchange, learning and networking between key AI stakeholders.

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