Call for Minister of Artificial Intelligence in South Africa

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Call for Minister of Artificial Intelligence in South Africa

Leading South African Tech Titan & Investor Andile Ngcaba, lobbies for Minister of Artificial Intelligence in South Africa

Technology focused Andile Ngcaba has called for South Africa’s own minister of artificial intelligence (AI) in the next administration.  Ngcaba made this comment at the 30 years of ICT in a democratic South Africa celebration hosted by the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

Dr Andile Ngcaba – Solcon Capital & DCA

Ngcaba is chairman, founder and majority shareholder of investment group Solcon Capital and is also former executive chairman of systems integrator Dimension Data. He serves as president of Digital Council Africa. Andile Ngcaba holds a master’s in information systems from the University of Witwatersrand and an honorary doctorate from Fort Hare.  Andile also serves as an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela University faculty of computer science. As a technologist he has been driving Pan African initiatives that are designed to build the digital Africa.  Soon after SA transitioned to a democracy, he took up the position of director-general of the then-Department of Communications for eight-and-a-half years until December 2003.  At the communications department, Ngcaba was responsible for policy formulation that restructured the ICT sector, and presided over various initiatives to reorganise and overhaul the telecoms sector.

As South Africans prepare to take to the polls in the 29 May elections, Ngcaba said, “Here is the request I want to put to you minister [Mondli Gungubele] for the president…this thing of a minister of AI is not a joke – it must happen.  We expect it to be announced when new ministers are announced now in July when you win the elections. We expect that you will convince the president that a new minister of AI will bepart of that new administration. We don’t expect anything less. We look forward to a new policy process that’s going to take us forward in the new administration.”

Dr Nick Bradshaw, Founder and Director of The South African Artificial Intelligence Association (SAAIA) an industry body focused on promoting the advancement of responsible AI in South Africa stated, “We agree with this call from Dr Ngcaba and its a key part of creating a robust AI Ecosystem in South Africa, something that has been replicated by countries like the UAE who appointed a Minister of AI some years ago.  Every decade there is a major cross cutting technology that emerges and impacts everyone in business and society.  Like the PC, Mobile Phone and Internet revolution, AI exhibits many of the same cross cutting effects and cannot be ignored, so its key we develop a National Strategy that is owned and driven at the Ministerial level.  We at SAAIA are engaged in the National AI Strategy development working group and seek to encourage all stakeholders in the adoption of responsible AI for the commercial and societal benefit of the citizens of South Africa with a primary focus on economic growth, trade, investment, equality and inclusivity.”

About the AI Media Group

The AI Media Group is a South African based industry analysis, publishing & business events consultancy specialising in the 4IR / smart tech sector in Africa.  They are curators of AI Expo Africa, the continent’s largest B2B/B2G Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) trade show and publishers of Synapse, the first quarterly trade magazine charting Africa’s 4IR innovation journey. The group also runs AI TV which hosts discussions on trends in AI and 4IR technologies with local, regional and global thought leaders.

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By |2024-04-30T07:54:54+00:00April 30th, 2024|AI in Africa, News|Comments Off on Call for Minister of Artificial Intelligence in South Africa

About the Author:

Nick is Co-founder of AI Media Africa, curators of AI Expo Africa as well as Africa's first AI & Data Science Magazine (Synapse) and is the host of the streaming channel AI TV.
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