POTRAZ Takes Lead in Developing AI Regulation Framework for Zimbabwe

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Staff Reporter

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has collaborated with the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to develop a comprehensive framework for AI regulation in the country, with the aim of harnessing its potential while mitigating risks.

This development is in reaction to the rapid deployment of AI technology in a variety of industries, including health care, finance, and education, which has prompted severe concerns regarding data privacy, security, and ethical considerations.

Speaking at the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2024 in Madziva, themed “Innovation for Sustainable Development,” Potraz Director General Dr Gift Machengete said the regulator was proactive in gathering information to make informed decisions about AI regulation.

“The Authority is working closely with the Ministry of ICT to come up with a relevant framework for the regulation of AI in the country. Preliminary work towards this has already begun with research on AI adoption and use in Zimbabwe having been undertaken by the Authority in the interest of evidence-based regulation.

The goal is to create a framework that balances innovation with protection, and to ensure that AI is used responsibly and ethically, while simultaneously encouraging its adoption and development in the country.

Dr. Machengete shared an example from China, where women prefer to date AI partners over real people because they do not cheat ,are constantly available, romantic, and know just what to say to cheer the ladies up.

Such digital innovation has produced not just benefits but also major drawbacks, some of which have harmed the moral fibre of humans.

AI has also been exploited in education, with students relying too heavily on programs like Chat GPT for assignments and research projects. This produces false degrees, which leads to a rise in incidences of malpractice in industries such as health care.

As a result, the collaboration between POTRAZ and the Ministry of ICT is intended to provide a robust framework with the goal of establishing rules for the development and deployment of AI systems, as well as monitoring and enforcement measures.

The creation of a long-term AI policy framework for Zimbabwe was critical in order to resolve ethical concerns, promote data privacy, limit algorithmic bias, and ensure responsible usage of AI technology.

As Zimbabwe joins the global effort to govern AI, the country is positioned to become a leader in responsible AI development and deployment, paving the way for new solutions that benefit the entire society.

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