AI Solutions in Africa- Who Watches The Technocrats?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is all about technology aiding development. Africa’s financial service is currently being disrupted by Financial Technology service providers (Fintechs) but it is inevitable that all sectors will be invaded by AI solutions to simplify services and ensure all round efficiency. All African countries suffer unemployment, with the teeming youth population finding themselves left without jobs. Technology solutions in various forms have provided succor to most of these youths. Many young people have sought qualification of some sort in the world of computers.
Software engineering is the foundation of the value chain for most technology solutions utilized in every sector. A sector relying on AI solutions can be embroiled in disputes, malfunctions, data infringements, huge losses if the foundation that lies in the software technocrats is not right. What is being done to ensure the quality and standards of those providing AI solutions in Africa? Who is watching, disciplining, training these software technocrats in Africa?
- Can you explain the value chain that exists in providing AI solutions in any sector?
- In Nigeria’s financial sector, there is a huge need for digital financial services and a large number of Fintechs and Payment Service Banks (e.g. telecommunication companies) have joined the traditional banks to meet this need, there must be a demand for people qualified to provide these digital services, can you describe this need?
- Who is meeting this need for qualified hands in Africa today and by what means?- Decagon can be introduced here
- The sector has a number of voluntary organisations- Nigeria Computer Society, Nigeria Society for Engineers, Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria “COREN”- which means a software engineer may hold himself bound by the regulations of these organisations. There is however the Computer Professionals Regulatory Council of Nigeria that seeks to make it mandatory for computer professionals to register with them and adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct adopted in 2001. Do software engineers feel compelled in anyway to register with this Council and hold themselves bound by the Code?
- Are you aware that there are no sanctions for non-compliance with Code? How effective can the Council be in ensuring standards without sanctions?
- How does the Nigerian Government need to prepare to avoid chaos in utilizing AI solutions in all sectors generally?
Profile of Guest Speaker
Mr. Chika Nwobi, BSc Computer Science, BA Economics is a Partner at Rise Capital. He serves as a Founder and Managing Partner at L5Lab and Decagon Institute. Before founding L5Lab, Mr. Nwobi served as a Group Chief Executive Officer of MTech PLC, which he founded in 2001. He serves as Non-Executive Director at Unilever Nigeria Plc since January 01, 2018. He has also led consulting engagements for Ford Foundation and IFC on mobile money and micropayments technology. He was a Co-Founder of MTech Communications Plc. Before founding MTech, Mr. Nwobi was associated with Airtuit Inc (USA) where he worked with US Operators and Fortune 500 companies on mobile value-added applications strategy. He also worked with Sprint Telecommunication and Eastman Chemicals. He is Director in Kamdora.com and Twinpine. Mr. Nwobi is a Co-founder of MTech Communications Plc and served as its Managing Director since June 2001 until November 2008. He served as Director of MTech Communications Plc since November 2008 until January 2013. He has served as a judge for LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Awards and the Federal Government YOUWIN business plan competition. Mr. Nwobi was part of the Nigeria 2025 Scenarios Team and was a nominee for the Future Awards Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Person of The Year, 2007. He has taken courses in Strategy (INSEAD), Corporate Finance (INSEAD), Financial Accounting (INSEAD), HR Strategy (Tsinghua University China), Agile Software Methodology (Oxford University). Mr. Nwobi graduated as an Honors scholar and holds B.Sc. in Computer Science and also B.A. in Economics from East Tennessee State University.