Nation Strengthening AI Technology to Modernize, Enhance Efficiency: Institute Director-General

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Addis Ababa, November 24/2023 (ENA)  Ethiopia is reinforcing artificial intelligence technology to modernize and enhance efficiency in various sectors, Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute Director-General Worku Gachena  told ENA. 

According to the director-general, commendable results have been gained in health, agriculture, and law enforcement activities from the very early stage of AI execution in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute was established in 2020.

Major national technological projects are being implemented jointly with higher education institutions and other organizations in the country.  

Addis Ababa University, in particular, has been working with the various national projects, it was learned.

"One of the biggest successes is that universities and researchers from all fields are working together on health, agriculture and other fields," Worku said, adding that this is also imperative for us to strengthen collaboration on major future projects that benefit Ethiopia. 

Artificial intelligence is a new phenomenon that Ethiopia has been aggressively working on and exploiting the technology to accelerate its development. 

“As artificial intelligence technology is new, Ethiopia is working hard to get the most out of this technology. In this, all sectors are employing it on a wide scale so that they can improve their quality and efficiency by using artificial intelligence.”

The director-general also mentioned some challenges in AI technology, particularly lack of trained manpower and expertise.

However, the country’s universities are designing curriculum to teach AI education in Masters and PhD levels to solve these problems through education and training.

Addis Ababa University President, Samuel Kifle said Ethiopia needs to redouble its efforts on artificial intelligence as the next move of this world would be on big data, alternative things, and robotics.  


 

The president stressed the need to think of transforming curriculum and having graduates of 21st century that can understand how this new world is operating and how artificial intelligence is affecting the universe.

“It is not enough to teach agriculture, we have to teach our plant and animal scientists and plant scientists. They have to learn how they can detect diseases and prescribe solutions assisted by artificial intelligence,” Samuel noted.  

Thus, in order to use big data, research, devising solutions and technology transfer, AI has to serve as a critical technological facility to transform the economy and change the social benefits in Ethiopia.

In this case, Addis Ababa University is jointly working with the Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute.

“Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence Institute and Addis Ababa University had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). So we have been engaged in various activities, including cargo tracking and improving the logistic system of the country. We have also been working together in improving the tax collection system of the nation and engaging in creating smart cities.”


 

Addis Ababa University Institutional Development Vice President, Wondwesen Mulugeta said “ we can use AI to support the health sector and the education, transport, and the military. So it is  high time that Ethiopia invested a lot in artificial intelligence. But at the same time it needs collaboration with higher learning institutions so that the knowledge and the product can be combined together to achieve the higher goal.”  

 

Ethiopian News Agency
2023