Narrowing the AI Divide in South Africa: Skills, Access, and More


In July 2023, Kasi Insight conducted its AI Perceptions and Adoption Survey, providing an extensive exploration of artificial intelligence (AI) from various angles. The survey's primary objective was to gauge familiarity levels, utilization patterns, AI's impact, and adoption challenges within 20 African markets.

In South Africa, the survey revealed that 53% of the respondents surveyed indicated that they were not well-versed in AI. In contrast, 29% mentioned having some degree of familiarity with AI, and 13% reported being very knowledgeable about it. Surprisingly, 5% of respondents had never come across AI before participating in the survey.


Across genders, it becomes evident that a slightly higher percentage of females (54%) expressed their lack of familiarity with AI in comparison to males (51%). Furthermore, when considering different age groups, we can see that 55% of millennials stated they are not familiar with AI, while 27% claimed to have some knowledge of it, and 13% mentioned they are very familiar with AI. In contrast, the younger generation, known as Gen Z, demonstrated significantly higher levels of familiarity with AI. Only 23% of Gen Z respondents were unfamiliar with AI, and an impressive 57% stated that they were somewhat familiar with it, with 17% of them declaring themselves as very knowledgeable about the concept.

The leading barriers are lacking AI skills and limited AI tech access

When it comes to the hurdles hindering AI adoption, a persistent and critical issue is the shortage of AI-skilled professionals, which significantly hampers the effective implementation of AI solutions across various sectors. This challenge underscores the importance of investing in AI education and training to bridge the skills gap. Additionally, limited access to AI technology, a concern particularly voiced by females and millennials, underscores the importance of making AI resources available to a wide cross-section of the population. This barrier reflects the broader need for digital inclusion and addressing the digital divide.


Furthermore, the challenge of insufficient investment and funding is a common concern shared by millennials and the general population, highlighting the essential role of financial support in bolstering AI initiatives, research, and development. It also underscores the significance of government and private sector investments in promoting AI innovation. The specific concern raised by males regarding data privacy and security issues underscores the importance of robust data protection and privacy policies in the AI landscape.

In addition, the perspective of Gen Z, who expresses apprehensions about potential job displacement due to AI advancements, highlights the societal implications of AI adoption. These concerns emphasize the need for ethical considerations and labor market strategies to manage the impact of AI on employment and ensure a fair transition.

AI brands in South Africa need to educate the public about AI and adapt their approaches to various consumer segments

The fact that a significant portion of the population is not well-versed in AI (53%) suggests that there is a substantial opportunity for AI brands to educate and raise awareness about their products and services. Brands can invest in educational initiatives to help people understand AI and its potential benefits. The survey indicates that Gen Z is more familiar with AI compared to millennials. AI brands should consider tailoring their marketing and outreach strategies to cater to the younger generation, who are likely to be more receptive to AI solutions.

The identified barriers, such as the shortage of AI-skilled professionals, limited access to AI technology, insufficient investment, and data privacy concerns, highlight areas where AI brands can focus their efforts. They can invest in training and education, expand accessibility, seek funding, and address privacy and security concerns to facilitate AI adoption. The need for investment and funding underscores the importance of government and private sector involvement in the AI landscape. AI brands can collaborate with these stakeholders to secure the necessary resources for research and development.

Contact our team today to explore how our consumer intelligence can empower your decision-making process. Win with confidence with Kasi's insights:

Share on social media using this caption: Unveiling South Africa's AI Landscape 🤖🌍: Dive into the survey results, from knowledge gaps to solutions. Let's bridge the AI divide together!

Recent posts

See all

Catherine Wangari

Zambia's Telecom Landscape: Gender-Driven Preferences and Spending Habits

Wilson Busaka

Unmasking Kenya's AI Landscape: Tackling Gender Disparities Amid Job Loss Concerns

Paul Cheloti Mulongo

AI Adoption in Nigeria: How Awareness is Shaping This new Era?

Subscribe to our free newsletter