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Kenya Drops Seven Positions in Global Technology Uptake Ranking

Kenya has dropped seven places in a global ranking of governments in readiness to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in public services, a newly released annual index report shows.

According to the Government Artificial Intelligence Readiness index 2021 by Oxford Insights, Kenya  was at position 78 out of 160 nations with an overall score of 45.54, down from 71 out of 172 and an overall score of 43.66 in 2020.

The index measures how ready governments are to implement AI in the delivery of public services using the right tools and the operating environment for economic development.

Kenya come in third in Sub-Saharan Africa after Mauritius (58) and South Africa (68). The ranking was based on three pillars – government, the technology sector, data and infrastructure.

“41 countries from the Sub-Saharan Africa region are represented in this year’s Index. The region’s average score is 31.61 out of 100, the lowest globally with many countries at the lower end of the ranking spectrum,” the annual Index report.

In terms of Government, the technology sector, data, and infrastructure, Kenya recorded a performance of 57.15, 28.75, and 50.72 respectively.

Sub-Saharan regional expert Abdijabar Mohamed noted that Kenya had a tremendous improvement in readiness to adopt Artificial Intelligence despite the drop. 

“Kenya has developed an AI task force (consisting of 11 experts from relevant government agencies, the private sector, academia, and other stakeholders) to provide a roadmap for how AI technologies can be applied in the national context. These initiatives can be seen to indicate a move towards more structured governance around AI in the region,” read part of the report.

Mohamed also lauded Kenya’s decision to change its educational curriculum in order to adopt a more technological-based system. This has been achieved by adopting AI models at various levels of the education system.

However, the report also pointed out that Sub-Saharan countries faced numerous challenges such as shortage of talents and inadequate resources in order to adopt Artificial Intelligence. 

Countries facing this problem such as Kenya and South Africa were advised to mirror Mauritius in its adoption of a human resource and development council or platforms in order to train students on how to develop AI skills.  

The report, which ranked 160 nations globally, saw the United States of America scoop top position, Singapore came second and the United Kingdom ranked the third. 

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