RIA’s Shamira Ahmed Delivers Lecture to University of Salzburg Class

As part of a class lecture at the University of Salzburg, RIA’s Shamira Ahmed presented insights and research on the “Internet Economy in Africa”. The lecture was part of the “Political Economy of the Internet” course coordinated by Researcher and Lecturer, Tales Tomaz, offered by the Dept. of Communication Studies at the Austrian university.

The lecture presentation was an overview of the geopolitics and governance of the Internet economy in Africa, Internet access challenges, and implications of increasing datafication and the current weak state of AI governance in Africa.

The four key points she raised were:

  1. The Internet ecosystem in Africa is characterised by complex social, political, economic and developmental factors that intertwine with national, regional and global dynamics.
  2. For Africa to benefit from global public goods such as the Internet, there needs to be accessible, affordable, secure and reliable Internet to reduce global digital inequalities.
  3. The evolving digital economy is closely associated with technology advancements fuelled by data—increased datafication means that artificial intelligence (AI) could become the central system for social and economic decision making in a wide variety of industries.
  4. There is limited research on the implications of AI in Africa and current discourse on AI ethics and governance are driven by multinational corporations, researchers and activists from the global North, with Africa largely left out of the debate or participating from a position of relative weakness.

Find her presentation below.