Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the society but unlike past technological revolutions, this revolution offers a unique chance to improve lives without aggravating global inequalities.
Starting this September, Morocco will open Africa’s first Artificial Intelligence school, Euromed School of Digital Engineering and Artificial Intelligence (EIDIA) at the Euromed University of Fez (UEMF). On July 25th, the institution will hold a contest where 100 out of 1,500 applicants will be chosen to study in the facility.
The EIDIA will offer training in multitudes of fields ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to cybersecurity and web technologies. The training programme cuts across Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate levels.
Following an agreement signed on July 12, the university will be supported by a French university Ecole Polytechnique (l’X), which is known for its engineering and polytechnic education programs. l’X has given its full support to the EIDIA, promising that it would contribute to the Moroccan school by “associating the entire ecosystem of the l’X to this project.”
AI-focused start-ups in Ghana and Nigeria have empowered doctors using the growing mobile phone ownership as a means for collecting data, improving administrative efficiency, and to expand treatment coverage. Also in Kenya and Nigeria, this technology aids transportation access and efficiency, alongside the lowering of financial transaction costs.
Education has also been a focus of start-ups like M-Shule and Tuteria, which provide accessible and extensive training and learning platforms to help teachers in the classroom. Last year, Google launched an artificial intelligence centre in Accra, Ghana but this is nothing compared to an African country owning an AI university.
According to a report by Mc Kinsey 2018 Global institute, AI has the potential to add to global output by about 16 percent or around $13 trillion by 2030. AI also has the potential to contribute to productivity enhancement in various sectors through job and capacity creation. According to the report, AI will create about 2.3 million new job roles by 2030.
Morocco is focused on expanding and improving education in this field as the country has the potential to be the regional leader in the AI industry.
Most Africans interested in AI opt to study abroad where they can to gain the IT skills they need, before returning to Africa to build new businesses that will help the continent. But with the establishment of EIDIA, more African AI researchers and engineers means more opportunities to use AI to improve the lives of Africans. It is the right educational platform for talented and interested individuals. With foresight and planning, the technological revolution that AI brings will empower a fair and successful society.
By Tobiloba Ishola.