Kenya ranks first amongst sub-Saharan countries with a score GCI score of 29 from 28 last year, according to Huawei’s 2018 Global Connectivity Index (GCI) Report. This ranking signals an improvement in the investment in ICT infrastructure and an improved relationship between digital maturity and economic growth.
The GCI 2018 report, now in its fifth year, found that industries across the globe are embedding Artificial Intelligence (AI) in key enabling technologies – Broadband, Data Centers, Cloud, Big Data and IoT – to turn connectivity into Intelligent Connectivity, unleashing innovation to propel a new wave of economic growth.
Today, the digital economy is driven by the consumer-driven internet. Increasingly, industries are leveraging Intelligent Connectivity to create whole new business models, products, processes and services that will breathe new life into the GCI S-curve and open a new cycle of economic growth.
At a global level, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seen to be driving a paradigm shift in how nations prepare for the digital economy and could almost double the value of the global digital economy to $23 trillion by 2025 from $12.9 trillion in 2017 when it accounted for 17.1% of global GDP. However, a scarcity of AI talent worldwide threatens this growth, says the new research from Huawei.
For countries like Kenya to effectively deploy AI on a large scale, countries need three equally important components in place: computing power, labeled data, and algorithms.
The big challenge for all 79 countries ranked in the GCI report, is the scarcity of AI developer talent. Governments need to re-think education for a future workplace redefined by AI and start building a healthy, collaborative, and open AI ecosystem to attract and retain competitive AI talent.
“We are now witnessing a paradigm shift initiated by AI,” said Kevin Zhang, President of Huawei Corporate Marketing. “According to the GCI study, advanced economies that saw growth from ICT development plateau are using Intelligent Connectivity to open new opportunities, while some developing economies are also finding ways to tap the new technology to speed up their own strategic growth plans.”
In 2018, Huawei will publish the GCI series including: the GCI 2018 report (Tap into New Growth with Intelligent Connectivity), Digital Spillover report (Measuring the true impact of the Digital Economy), and ICT Sustainable Development Goals Benchmark report.