Technology vital in inspiring new ways of life

06Dec 2021
Francis Kajubi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Technology vital in inspiring new ways of life

ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) is the perfect way forward towards bringing long term solutions to social and economic challenges facing African nations if innovative ideas by youth are to be financed for execution.

Speaking at an organised workshop at the weekend in Dar es Salaam that targeted at inspiring young graduates to take full part in developing technology and innovative solutions for challenges emerging in the local community, Tian Zhang, programme coordinator at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Tanzania, said that technology is vital not only in bringing solutions but inspiring new ways of life.

The workshop that was co-organised by AfroPavo Analytics in partnership with Tanzania AI Lab and Sahara Ventures which involved a number of youth from university students, professionals, and targeted at equipping them with insights on the AWS DeepRacer technology in developing self-driving cars.

According to her, UNCDF supports a number of financial technology start-ups and encourages youth to explore opportunities in the digital technology space.

“The UNCDF sees the importance of financing start-up projects with an innovative perspective. We are in ongoing negotiations with Sahara Ventures to see how we can enter a special memorandum of understanding in financing ideas that are viable for bringing solutions to daily life, social and economic challenges,” said Zhang.

Rwebugisa Mutahaba, CEO and founder AfroPavo Analytics said that new innovative solutions are needed in line with the vast growing population.

“With our similar problems in African countries we need to create our own solutions through execution of innovative ideas from the grass root to the national levels and the continent at large,” said Mutahaba.

Derick Kazimoto, one of the co-founders of the host company, AfroPavo said AfroPavo Analytics uses data and technology to design and build solutions around Africa’s most pressing financial and social problems.

“Our company has applied AI in creating innovative solutions to issues such as credit risk scoring in Tanzania,” said Kazimoto.

Essa Mohamedali, co-founder, and community manager Tanzania AI Lab said the company has been working with over 200 youth from different backgrounds at universities such as DIT, IFM, UDSM and Nelson Mandela University.

“By empowering the youth, the future of technology-driven solutions is ensured and there is the potential to revolutionise sectors that will support the country’s growth and human lives.”

Mohamedali further added that the technology of AI has not been used extensively in Africa but introducing the available digital tools leads into sector growth.

Clayton Sibanda, a software engineer at Microsoft Canada shared insights with the youth on his experience as an African working in the data science and technology space. “We need to make headway in technology to make our own solutions. If we as young people innovate then we can really come up with good solutions.”

Sang’udi Sang’udi, a fourth-year medical student at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences stated that he attended workshop because he was “interested to see how technology and healthcare could be integrated” to solve pressing issues.