UDSM's AI workshop at Sabasaba highlights Tanzania digital economy future

Wed, 10.Jul.2024 17.26

By Zamda George, CMU

The University of Dar es Salaam has held an instrumental workshop on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a focus on the creative economy and key aspects determining the digital future of Tanzania and the globe.

The workshop, which was held in the UDSM pavilion at the ongoing 48th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) Exhibitions famously known as Sabasaba on 8th July, 2024, drew participation from leading public and private institutions across Tanzania.

Graced by UDSM Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research, Prof. Nelson Boniface, and spearheaded by two Information Technology experts from UDSM College of Communication and Information Technologies (CoICT) Dr. Mathew Mndeme and Dr. Hadija Mbembati, the workshop emphasised the importance of digital transformation as a global agenda and explored the profound impact of digital technologies on the economy.

“AI is such a transformative technology with the potential to revolutionise various sectors, particularly the creative economy. It is thus imperative that all sectors and individuals understand it very well and create relevant capacities”, said Dr. Mndeme as he took participants through various key aspects determining the AI dynamics.

The two experts, Dr. Mndeme and Dr. Mbembati also underscored the need for a comprehensive preparation to embrace AI including enhancing infrastructure such as data centres, electricity, and security, as well as developing relevant skills.

They cited Tanzania’s pioneering of the introduction of the Government Electronic Payment Gateway using control numbers, as one of the national commendable initiatives and leadership in embracing and innovating digital financial solutions.

“We also encourage you and the country at large to promote mathematics education among children as a critical foundation for future AI expertise and usage”, said Dr. Mndeme.

Collective commitment

The Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research, Prof. Nelson Boniface, highly appreciated the various institutions and individuals for participating in such a vital workshop on the future of the digital economy.

“This workshop is a testament to our collective commitment to advancing AI and digital transformation in Tanzania. Together, we can build a future where technology and creativity drive our economy forward”, said Prof. Boniface.

Prof. Boniface said that UDSM would continue to hold workshops on important issues and global agendas. “As the country's leading research institution, it is our responsibility to address these topics and contribute to the nation's development”.

Meanwhile, participants also commended the workshop as “a significant step towards adopting proper initiative for positioning Tanzania as a leader in digital innovation and AI technology. By fostering collaboration and skill development, we can harness AI to drive our creative economy forward”.

The workshop brought together representatives from diverse sectors and institutions including the Prime Minister’s Office, University of Dar es Salaam, the University of Dodoma, Ardhi University, Parliament of Tanzania, Air Tanzania, Vodacom, SUMA JKT, National Insurance Corporation, National Institute of Transport, Tanzania Bureau of Standards, Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Mzumbe University and the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency.