U.S. and AmCham Engage Stakeholders on AI Opportunities for Innovation

U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Virginia Palmer welcomes attendees to the a roundtable discussion on Artificial Intelligence at the Google AI Research Center in Accra.

Accra, Ghana – The U.S. Embassy Ghana and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana jointly hosted a roundtable on “Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Innovation” at the Google AI Research Center in Accra yesterday.  The event focused on developments in industry, research, and policy related to AI.  More than 40 local and international ICT companies, startups, incubator, academic experts, industry representatives from the agriculture, food processing, and manufacturing, as well as graduate students in computer science, NGOs, and civil society representatives attended the event.  Officials from the Office of the President of Ghana and the National Data Commission were also in attendance.

“U.S. companies and organizations, like those represented here today, are at the forefront of this technology.  The responsible use of these technologies has the potential to transform our economy and drive Ghana’s digital transformation,” said U.S. Ambassador Palmer.

The Ambassador highlighted AI tools being deployed around the world to enhance capacities and improve efficiencies in nearly all industry and social sectors, from health to transportation to agriculture and food security.  The United States Government is working to build partnerships connected by shared values and a shared commitment to the responsible use of AI.

Dr. Jason Hickey, Head of Google’s AI Research Center, highlighted Google’s research activities, many of which involve local researchers who are developing AI solutions for use within Ghana and the wider African continent.  Ludwika Alvarez, Digital Team Leader for AI at the U.S. Department of Commerce, provided an overview of fast-moving investment and expansion efforts in the AI industry in the United States.  Fatima Tajambang of the U.S. company Nvidia explained how the company is providing Ghanaian ICT communities with mentoring and computing resources so that aspiring local developers can build and scale their AI expertise, nurture emerging technologies and drive innovation. Dr. Daphne Stavroula Zois from the University of Albany (New York) detailed her research on AI applications for use in Ghana’s agricultural sector.  Mr. Darlington Akogo from KaroAgroAI, which is partially funded by several American foundations, spoke about his active work using AI to diagnose plant diseases and provide solutions for Ghana’s farmers.  Dr. Peter Maher from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, highlighted how U.S. education is responding to the AI’s sector’s fast growth, including developing specialized curriculum to train the researchers and workers who will work with the technology in a wide range of disciplines.

For more information on the United States’ National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, see www.ai.gov.  Ghanaian companies interested in partnering with U.S. technology firms can contact the U.S. Embassy’s Commercial Section for assistance: www.trade.gov/Ghana