Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader in Parliament

Member of Parliament for Tamale South Constituency, Hon Haruna Iddrisu, has advocated for a new legal and regulatory framework to guide the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Ghana.

“We need to initiate measures to guide the development and use of AI through the launch of AI strategies and policies, enactment of legislation and probably even anticipate the establishment of centers of excellence on AI through scientific research.”

The lawmaker said a future national development plan must necessarily have the use of AI as a priority as per the national development plan of the country to prepare the nation for the future.

He observed Ghana as at today, has no strategy artificial intelligence, no legislation on, and no ethical guidelines on AI. He stated as the development and use of AI expands across different domains, there is the need to have legal regulatory guidance to ensure that AI is used in a manner that aligns with human rights.

“The use of digital technologies for innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth in Ghana is necessary if our digital transformation strategy is to succeed. It offers us a leapfrogging opportunity by adopting digital solution faster and without being incumbent by legacy challenges of facing out or transitioning from older technologies to new ones” he maintained.  

Delivering a statement on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, the former Minority Leader said, “AI technology has enormous potential for strengthening the delivery of public service, particularly the delivery of health care and medicine. According to the WHO AI has improved diagnosis and clinical care, enhancing health research and the deployment of public health interventions.”

“AI can be useful for agriculture. It has significant advantages for the agriculture sector, predicting weather, opportunities for planting and harvesting successfully and determining appropriate fertilizer use” he emphasized.

The Tamale South MP indicated there is a rapid use of AI technology globally and that in Africa, AI creation and implementation are transforming lives and cultures in a variety of ways.

Threats of AI

However, Mr. Iddrisu conceded that the use of Artificial Intelligence poses several challenges that cannot be resolved simply by ethical principles and existing laws and policies because the risk of AI is not yet understood.

He therefore called for the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Council mandated to coordinate and come out with a unified strategy that reflects the government’s priorities and other stakeholders and the use of AI applications.

He further proposed the Vice President of the Republic or the Minister responsible for ICT to lead a team with representation from the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Interior, and Higher Education.
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