Council Approves Ethiopia’s First Artificial Intelligence Policy

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian authorities have adopted an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Policy to guideline the development and implementation of the technology in the country.

The national AI policy, the first for Ethiopia, was approved by the Council of Ministers along with several other bills and draft policies during its regular season on Thursday.

Artificial intelligence, a fast-evolving technology that taps the intelligence of machines or software is transforming all social spheres globally.

Ethiopia too has recently been carrying out activities to deploy the AI technology for socio-economic development and protecting national security, the Prime minister’s office noted in a statement.

The activities involve establishing an AI development and research center intending to build enhanced national capacity to implement problem solving AI-based technologies.

Despite this, the PM says, there is still significant work to be done to harness the power of the technology, prompting the drafting of Ethiopia’s first AI Policy.

The policy sets guidelines for the development and deployment of the technology in addition to supporting efforts to sustain the progress made so far, and reach the targets set by the government, the PM Office says.

The Council of ministers eventually endorsed the draft policy and for its immediate adoption.

The decision comes weeks after the African ICT Ministers approved a landmark Continental Artificial Intelligence Strategy in a bid to unlock the economic potential of the technology.

Recent Research shows that AI technology has the potential to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, of which $1.2 trillion could be generated in Africa, representing a 5.6 per cent increase in the continent’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Cyber Security Policy revised

At the same session Thursday, the ministerial council also deliberated on a newly drafted Cybersecurity policy.

The previous policy was revised to make it compatible with the current national, regional and global cyber security situations, the PM Office states.

It also says the policy was developed to clearly define areas requiring public-private partnership, and set guidelines to implement, monitor, and follow up on key aspects of cyber security.

The council of Ministers unanimously voted for Cybersecurity Policy adoption. This and the AI Policy become effective as of Thursday June 27, 2024.

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