Artificial intelligence (AI) is the capacity of machines and computer programs to carry out operations that would typically need human intelligence. Today, AI is being used by businesses across a wide range of industries to improve operations, create new revenue streams, and gain a competitive advantage.

Adoption of AI in Africa

In Africa, the adoption of AI has made considerable progress, notably in sectors like healthcare and agriculture, but it is still in its infancy compared to other parts of the world. Some of the issues limiting the adoption of AI in Africa include a lack of finance, lack of knowledge, limited infrastructure, and skills for AI use.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the adoption of AI in Africa is expected to grow in the coming years, after an estimated 45% increase in the number of AI startups in Africa in 2022.

What to consider when introducing AI in Business operations

It is necessary to plan ahead and take into account a number of issues in using AI. Key considerations should be:

  1. Business objectives: The first step in adopting AI is to identify specific business objectives that can be achieved through the use of AI. This will help businesses to focus their efforts and ensure that they are using AI in the most effective way.
  2. Technical expertise: Developing and deploying AI systems requires specialized technical expertise. Businesses should consider whether they have the necessary in-house expertise or whether they need to partner with external vendors or consultants.
  3. Data quality and availability: AI systems require large amounts of high-quality data to operate effectively. Businesses should assess their data quality and availability and consider how they can collect and manage data to support AI initiatives.
  4. Regulatory compliance: The use of AI is subject to various regulatory requirements, such as data protection laws and industry-specific regulations. Businesses should ensure that their use of AI complies with applicable laws and regulations.
  5. Return on investment: Finally, businesses should consider the potential return on investment (ROI) of their AI initiatives. They should assess the costs and benefits of AI and determine whether it is a worthwhile investment for their business.

Benefits of using AI in a business or an organization:

  1. Enhanced productivity and efficiency: AI can automate repetitive jobs and procedures, freeing up people to concentrate on more challenging and important duties, resulting into cost reductions and increased productivity/ efficiency.
  2. Personalized customer experiences: AI can be used to analyze customer data and provide personalized recommendations, leading to better customer experiences and higher customer satisfaction (like the use of AI-powered chatbots to provide quick and accurate responses to customer inquiries).
  3. Data-driven decision making: AI tools can speedily analyze vast amounts of data to find patterns and insights, aiding better decision-making and improved business results.
  4. Improved accuracy: AI can be used to perform tasks that require a high level of accuracy, such as identifying anomalies or detecting fraud. This can help businesses reduce errors and improve the quality of their products or services.
  5. Competitive advantage: Better quality products/ services, greater precision and efficiency, cost-cutting and quality enhancing that result from AI aided analytics put the business in position of market advantage when it comes to product/ service utility and pricing.



Businesses should start adopting elements of AI and increase progressively in this area. This way they automate routine tasks, beneficially analyze large volumes of data, and improve their offerings. This can lead to improved business outcomes, increased profitability, and a overall competitive edge. However, it is important for businesses to implement AI solutions responsibly, taking into account ethical and legal considerations, and to evaluate the potential return on investment to ensure that it is a worthwhile investment for their business.

Written by  Joseph Sserunjogi – IT Officer FRIENDS Consult Limited