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AI Boosts ZRA Revenue Collection by 60 Percent, Says Minister

The Minister of Technology and Science, Hon. Felix Mutati, has revealed that the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significantly enhanced the Zambia Revenue Authority’s (ZRA) revenue collection capabilities, increasing them by 60 percent over the past two years.

During a lecture on Artificial Intelligence at the University of Lusaka Silverest Campus in Chongwe District, Mr. Mutati highlighted the transformative impact of AI on revenue collection and tax compliance.

He emphasised that AI has equipped ZRA with advanced tools that streamline and optimise these processes.

“AI has come to stay, and Zambians must embrace it,” Mr. Mutati stated. “The benefits of AI extend beyond revenue collection; it will aid in areas such as justice, business, security, and agriculture.”

He illustrated AI’s potential in the justice system, noting that AI-driven translation tools can help non-English speakers understand court proceedings, thereby ensuring fair trials.

Additionally, Mr. Mutati mentioned AI’s role in weather prediction, which is crucial for preparing for natural disasters like floods and droughts.

He also disclosed progress in digital infrastructure, announcing that Zambia has connected seven of its eight neighbouring countries to fibre optic, with Mozambique set to join by the end of June. This connectivity aims to enhance digital access and foster a conducive environment for business and commerce.

ZRA Commissioner General Dingani Banda echoed the minister’s sentiments, pointing out that AI has revolutionised fraud detection. “The AI Unit at ZRA headquarters, staffed by highly competent Zambians, allows us to analyse importers and exporters online, detecting fraud more swiftly than human capabilities,” Mr. Banda said.

Meanwhile, University of Lusaka Vice Chancellor, Professor Pinalo Chifwanikeni, stressed the importance of strategic planning in AI implementation. “Zambia must adopt short, medium, and long-term measures to fully leverage AI’s potential,” he advised.

He also highlighted the New Dawn Government’s clear agenda on harnessing AI to benefit sectors like energy and agriculture.

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