The Inaugural African Regional Responsible use of Artificial Intelligence in Military (REAIM) workshop was held in Nairobi with the aim of providing a platform for open discussion, knowledge sharing and deepening regional understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The two-day event, co-hosted by the Ministry of Defence, the Kingdom of Netherlands and the Republic of Korea enabled delegates and military personnel from 14 countries across the globe to collectively address the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with military applications of AI.

The keynote speaker of the workshop was the Cabinet Secretary for Defence Hon Aden Duale who asserted that together we can create a future where AI not only strengthens our defence capabilities but also upholds the principles of justice, peace and human dignity.

“Kenya is committed to ethical AI practices in military operations to promote security and stability in Africa and globally. Therefore, I urge you to share your insights and collaborate on solutions that will guide towards the responsible and effective use of AI in our Military endeavours,” added the CS.

In his address, The Chief of Defence Forces General Charles Kahariri highlighted the importance of knowing the profound impact that AI is having and its transformative power in technology, enhancing capabilities, improving decision-making processes and ensuring the security and sovereignty of the nation.

“Developing a comprehensive regulatory framework that governs the use of AI in military operations is essential. Building local capabilities to develop, deploy and regulate AI is crucial. These frameworks should address issues such as data privacy, security and ethical use. Policymakers must work closely with technologies, ethicists and military experts to create policies that balance innovation with responsibility,” he said.

On their part Korean Ambassador H.E Won Ik Lee and Chief of Information Officer Netherlands Jorean Van de Vlugt affirmed that AI has extraordinary potential as an enabling technology and these potential risks must be adequately addressed in order to safeguard international security and uphold international law.

As a final note, Director General of Defence National Security Industries (DNSI) Major General Benard Waliula thanked all the participants for demonstrating the power of international cooperation in addressing complex and critical issues together.

Africa participating countries were Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda South Africa, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. The 2nd REAIM Summit will be held in the Republic of Korea in September 2024.

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