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Exploring AI’s Trends in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2024

While AI technology trends are taking over the world, Africa, particularly the sub-Sahara, embraces this innovation with optimism and reserve. The sub-Saharan region has technological needs that differ from those of its counterparts. Therefore, racing for the digital revolution could be done by adopting a more intentional and conscious approach to the region’s realities. In this article, we will explore some of the possibilities that could increase or emerge from the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in sub-Saharan African countries in 2024.

AI's Trends

A Spike in Tech Start-ups and Employment Prospects

If many people are sceptical about the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the job market and business world, others, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, see it as an opportunity. In fact, several states in this region are considered developing countries, making AI an essential means for achieving prosperous economic development. According to a report from GSMA (The Mobile Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa 2023), the potential benefits of this technology for this part of the continent are considerable. It could help compensate for the lack of infrastructure and resources necessary for many services, such as education or employment, which actively improve living conditions.

Lately, start-ups using Artificial Intelligence as a service offering have become more visible, leading the way in pioneering impactful technologies. For example, some start-ups in Uganda are creating AI solutions targeted at multinationals. In Gabon, some of them developed tamper-proof digital processes to meet security needs in the transport industry.

This year could be the starting point for a significant increase in African start-ups focused on advanced digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence. Their emergence could potentially catalyse a surge in job opportunities, potentially alleviating the unemployment rate.

Upward Trend of AI Implementation in the Telecommunication Sector

Among the sectors impacted by AI, Telecommunication is not left out. According to the GSMA report (Mobile Economy 2024), more and more people are connecting to the internet. Similarly, smartphone adoption is expected to increase by 66%, and the number of mobile service subscribers by 44% in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. This means telcos must intensively integrate AI technologies into their systems to improve the customer experience, retain users, and increase their income. They must adapt quickly to technological developments and market demands to survive over time.

We can add to this the adoption of Artificial Intelligence in the resolutions and anticipation of issues related to the mobile network and operations to guarantee a fault-free service on a large scale. Given the GSMA report mentioned above, it is very likely that this year and, in the years, to come, key players in the Telecommunications sector will migrate to AI platforms, sometimes combined with other technologies such as Cloud Computing, to improve operational efficiency across all of their networks. At the same time, cutting-edge AI-based software, such as the CDRlive  solution from Adapt IT Telecoms, will be created to accommodate users and their requirements.

AI's Trends

Boost in Artificial Intelligence Research Investments

AI presents many opportunities for the Non-Mediterranean Africa. It easily optimises public services in varied sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, Transport, and Health, to name just a few. However, its adoption is subject to many challenges, such as the lack of skills and resources essential for its development and deployment.

If governments manage to fully master AI by investing in in-depth research tailored to their populations’ needs, it will become a massive development weapon. According to a GSMA article ( Understanding AI for Sustainable Development in Africa 2024 ), the development and adoption of AI have seen progress in sub-Saharan Africa through the three technology and innovation hubs, which include Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

In addition to these countries, other states have followed suit in recent years, investing in research on Artificial Intelligence adapted to national realities. This is the case of Congo Brazzaville, which in 2022 opened its first African Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (ARCAI), a centre that houses advanced research and courses on AI. Or Senegal, with the National Academy of Sciences and Techniques (ANSTS). In early 2024, the academy submitted its report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to former President Macky Sall. This report will make it possible to identify the challenges of this technology in the country and to invest promptly.

 More needs to be done in the region to fully leverage AI for socio-economic growth. Governments can play a crucial role in fostering AI adoption by implementing supportive policies and regulations, investing in AI education, and promoting AI research and development. This type of initiative could encourage more countries to participate in AI research and reap its benefits. 

Enhanced involvement in cybersecurity

One element to consider this year is the increase in cyberattacks. The more businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa adopt innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the more they are confronted with cybercrime. Due to its rapid technological evolution, the continent has become an attractive target for fraud and cyberattacks (The Mobile Economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, 2023).

Knowing and anticipating current and future security risks objectively, quickly, and effectively has become paramount. As a result, states in the sub-Saharan region will need to collaborate to progress and benefit from mutual learning to adopt standard cybersecurity policies and protect their societies caught up in today’s cutting-edge ICT tools.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers sub-Saharan Africa opportunities for advancement in several industries, such as Health, Telecommunications, Agriculture, etc. Thanks to the creation of start-ups, it is a major asset in the technological and economic development of this region. However, it is crucial for countries in that area to invest in advanced research to control and leverage it.

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