The government of Benin has adopted a national strategy for artificial intelligence and megadata. Developed over a five-year period, the action plan was approved on Wednesday 18 January by the Council of Ministers.
In its vision of making digital technology one of the foundations of economic and social progress, Benin is adopting a national artificial intelligence strategy. According to the minutes of the Council of Ministers of 18 January, “this strategy and its action plan have been developed in a process that integrates stakeholders, following a holistic approach based on technological solutions adapted to the needs of our country, particularly in the areas of education, health, agriculture, living environment, tourism, and on the understanding of use cases applicable to the Beninese context.
Thus, driven by the vision of making Benin by 2027, a country that also shines through the use of its massive data through systems and technologies of artificial intelligence and the development of related skills, it is composed of four programs in three phases over five years, with a portfolio containing one hundred and twenty-three (123) actions impacting the public and private sectors.
Its adoption will also position Benin as a country capable of seizing current and future opportunities related to artificial intelligence and massive data processing, which would make it even more attractive to all types of investment, especially from the private sector and development partners, said the statement of the Council of Ministers.
The reasons behind the adoption of Artificial Intelligence
In its program, the Government of Benin has made digital technology the core of development and aims to become a platform for digital services in the sub-region. The significant investments made in this sector since 2016 demonstrate a strong political will to develop the digital economy and transform the country into a regional platform for digital services in a sustainable way.
Some major projects in the digital sector such as the datacenter, interoperability, e-Administration, e-Services, Open Data, etc. will result in the production of massive data, the management and valorisation of which must be addressed in order to ensure that their potential for creating value does not escape the Beninese economy
Artificial intelligence therefore appears to be a tool to effectively address this issue in order to support Benin’s influence in strategic sectors (education, health, agriculture, living environment, tourism).
But in order to exploit its potential and strengthen the initiatives already underway in the field of artificial intelligence, Benin needs, on the one hand, to know its assets in this area and, on the other hand, to define its objectives with a view to taking the lead in the sub-region.
To this end, the Ministry of Digital Affairs and Digitalisation has initiated the elaboration of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and Megadata and its action plan, elaborated together with the stakeholders and submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.
With a projected amount of four billion six hundred and eighty million (4,680,000,000) CFA francs over a period of five (05) years, the implementation of this strategy offers the opportunity to exploit AI in the target areas of development in order to position the country as a major player in AI in West Africa