Artificial intelligence at the service of Africa’s tourism development

Boubacar Diallo

Last week in Rabat was the African Security Exhibition & Conference (ASEC EXPO), the first 100% technological African fair dedicated to security and safety. On this occasion, global digital giants have not hidden their ambitions to open new markets in Africa.

According to the United Nations, the urban population in Africa currently stands at 472 million. By 2040, this figure will double to one billion people. The growing urbanization of this continent accompanies the economic transformation of African countries more and more turned to new technologies. Evidenced by the holding of the first 100% technological African fair dedicated to safety and security Tuesday, February 19 in Rabat (Morocco). By multiplying initiatives of this kind, Morocco intends to become a reference, if not the first African reference in smart cities.

 

State-of-the-art video surveillance tools
Among the guests of this event, the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei whose presence in some countries such as Kenya, Cameroon or Mali continues to assert itself. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Huawei has already equipped nearly 25 African cities with cameras. In the same way that mega-cities such as Beijing and Rios are equipped with state-of-the-art video surveillance devices, the developing African metropolis aspire to the same equipments combining facial recognition and data cross-referencing, with a goal that is above all safe. This objective should allow the second time to open the continent to tourism or trade. For example, the city of Marrakech is working on an application that could allow citizens and tourists “to make emergency calls and contributions to security,” said Moulay El Hafid Zimirly, an official of the Marrakech region -Safi in an interview broadcast by Huawei.

 

Different from a single camera, these reconnaissance systems are controlled from control centers capable of instantly detecting any form of accident. The device is the same as the one recently installed at the Rioet Carnival, which makes it possible to analyze several elements: individuals can be identified thanks to facial recognition and information stored in databases on different platforms, including social networks. In the most extreme cases, the most powerful software will be able to detect the emotions of humans in order to predict their behavior. Finally, the vehicles will be able to be identified thanks to the number plates.

 

Ultimately, these locations will not be equal in all regions of the world, subject to different legislation. For example, some African countries could advance France, governed by CNIL, on these issues of digital surveillance.

Le Quotidien du Tourisme

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