Benin bids to be Africa’s technology catalyst
Benin is positioning itself to become a catalyst for digital development in Africa.
Benin recently hosted the Digital Entrepreneurship and Artificial Intelligence trade show, where the country punted itself as a centre of technology innovation in West Africa.
Organised by the Ministry of Digital Affairs and Digitalisation, the event brought together Beninese talent and international experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science.
The organisers said the event reflected Benin's drive to become a major player in AI in West Africa.
“Our national companies need business partnerships. We would like to see innovation, knowledge and creativity from elsewhere join forces with local talent,” said Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou, Benin’s minister of digital.
Benin wants to develop its digital ecosystem and, more broadly, its economy. The country has just opened a national data center and is launching a vast project to digitalise its government.
Benin ranks among the most prepared African countries to adopt artificial intelligence, according to an Oxford Insights report.
Last January, the country adopted a national strategy to make digital technology a lever for economic and social growth.
The strategy encourages applying AI to the Beninese context, not only to accelerate the digitalisation of government, but also to address priorities in education, health, agriculture and the environment.
“Within five years, Benin hopes to be a catalyst for digital development in Africa. And in 10 years' time, high-potential start-ups will have reached unicorn status,” said Brad Kpoahoun, innovation and entrepreneurship project manager at Epitech – a school of digital innovation.