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Google takes on 'Africa's challenges' with first AI centre in Ghana

AFP  |  Accra 

An research laboratory opened by in Ghana, the first of its kind in Africa, will take on challenges across the continent, researchers say.

The US said the lab in the capital would address economic, political and environmental issues.

"has many challenges where the use of AI could be beneficial, sometimes even more than in other places," Google's of AI Accra, Moustapha Cisse, told AFP at the centre's official opening this week.

Similar research centres have already opened in cities around the world including Tokyo, Zurich, and

The new lab, Cisse said, would use AI to develop solutions in healthcare, education and agriculture -- such as helping to diagnose certain types of crop disease.

Cisse, an expert from Senegal, said he hoped specialist engineers and AI researchers would collaborate with local organisations and policymakers.

is working with universities and start-ups in Ghana, Nigeria, and South to enhance AI development regionally, he said.

"We just need to ensure that the right education and opportunities are in place," he said.

"That is why is sponsoring a lot of these young people for their degrees... to help develop a new generation of AI developers."

Other tech companies, including Facebook, have launched initiatives in and demographics are a key factor behind the drive.

Africa's population is estimated to be 1.2 billion, 60 percent of them under the age of 24.

By 2050, the UN estimates the population will double to 2.4 billion. As expand, that presents a huge market for US tech giants to tap into.

"There's a clear opportunity for companies like and Google to really go in and put a pole in the sand," said Daniel Ives, a at GBH Insights in

"If you look at Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, where is a lot of that growth coming from? It's international," he told AFP in a recent interview.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 08:45 IST
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