MWAIS 2024 Proceedings


The recent evolution of Generative AI technologies has ushered in digital transformative potentials across various sectors around the globe; Africa is making steps towards a faster uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI stands at the forefront of solving critical African issues, from farming to the health sector. However, this wave of technological innovation has also raised concerns about digital colonization, particularly in low-resource settings such as Africa, where the digital divide and external control over digital resources can exacerbate existing inequalities. This paper aims to dissect the multifaceted relationship between AI development and digital colonization in Africa, highlighting the emerging strategic challenges and opportunities. We highlight the dual nature of AI as both a beacon of opportunity and a harbinger of risk, particularly the threat of digital colonization—a phenomenon where the control and benefits of AI technologies are disproportionately held by foreign entities, potentially exacerbating existing inequalities and fostering new dependencies.