ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0219.v1
Online: 14 April 2020 (08:50:30 CEST)
The article revisits previous viruses such as Ebola to extrapolate the socio-economic implications of the COVID-19. Using secondary sources and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) to guide understanding, the article argues that unless measures are put in place to safeguard smallholder activities in Zimbabwe, COVID-19 has the potential to reproduce the same catastrophic implications created by Ebola in West African countries where peasant food systems where shattered and livelihoods strategies maimed. With a perceptible withdrawal of the government from small-scale farming towards large-scale capital intensive operations, smallholders could now be even more vulnerable. The article concludes that social assistance should now be intensified to protect its vulnerable population from the ravages of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0195.v1
Online: 12 April 2020 (14:39:03 CEST)
The study sought to gauge the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in unleashing digital transformation in the education sector in South Africa. In order to gauge the impact, the study tracked the rate at which the 4IR tools were used by various institutions during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data were obtained from secondary sources, mainly newspaper articles, magazines and peer-reviewed journals. The findings are that, in South Africa, during the lockdown, a variety of 4IR tools were unleashed from primary education to higher and tertiary education where educational activities switched to remote learning (online learning). These observations point to the fact that South Africa generally has, some pockets of excellence to drive the education sector into the 4IR, which has the potential to increase access. Access to education, particularly at a higher education level, has always been a challenge due to a limited number of spaces available. Much as this pandemic has brought with it massive human suffering across the globe, there is an opportunity to assess successes and failures of deployed technologies, costs associated with them, and scaling these technologies to improve access.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0362.v1
Online: 16 September 2020 (11:31:39 CEST)
Though the share of the world population living in extreme poverty declined to 10 percent in 2015, from 16 percent in 2010 and 36 percent in 1990, data shows that the world is not on track in achieving the target of less than 3 percent of people living in extreme poverty by 2030. Hence the study sought to investigate the influence of AI on poverty reduction. Using content analysis one of the unobtrusive research techniques, the study found out that, the availability of relevant data is making AI be able to deliver value to humanity and AI has a strong influence on poverty in areas of relevant data collection through poverty maps, its ability to revolutionize agriculture, education, and the financial sector through digital financial inclusion. The study also discovered that many countries especially developing nations are not collecting as much data to identify the number of poor people and the regions where these people are located. However, the existence of AI is assisting to change this, or instance the study discovered that the research team at Stanford University is using satellite images to provide an alternative to map poverty, to identify the regions where poverty is more concentrated. Also, various robotics and AI programs such as Google and Stanford University’s Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence Lab, are coming forth with AI programs in agriculture which are doing a lot to improve farming, through the identification of diseases, prediction of crop yields, and location of areas prone to a scarcity among several other notable signs of progress in education. Therefore, the study recommends that governments, development institutions and other organizations that are striving to fight poverty to invest more in AI as well as adopting and scaling up its use as it presents benefits in the quest to ensure that poverty is reduced.