White House to meet Microsoft, Google CEOs on AI dangers

The White House will host CEOs of top artificial intelligence companies, including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft, on Thursday to discuss risks and safeguards as the technology catches the attention of governments and lawmakers globally.

Generative artificial intelligence has become a buzzword this year, with apps such as ChatGPT capturing the public’s fancy, sparking a rush among companies to launch similar products they believe will change the nature of work.

Millions of users have begun testing such tools, which supporters say can make medical diagnoses, write screenplays, create legal briefs and debug software, leading to growing concern about how the technology could lead to privacy violations, skew employment decisions, and power scams and misinformation campaigns.

‘We aim to have a frank discussion about the risks we see in current and near-term AI development,’ said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. ‘Our North Star here is this idea that if we’re going to seize these benefits, we have to start by managing the risks.’

Thursday’s meeting, will include Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Anthropic’s Dario Amodei along with Vice President Kamala Harris and administration officials including Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

Ahead of the meeting, the administration announced a $140 million investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new AI research institutes and said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget would release policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Government highlights stability of tax system

The minister of State for Economic Coordination Manuel Nunes Júnior Wednesday in Luanda spoke of the demand for the new assets available to the market by economic agents.

He said that the demand is due to the stability of the tax system and labour legislation reforms.

The minister was speaking at the closing session for the presentation of the extension of the Privatisation Programme for the 2023-2026 period, also stating that the demand would also reflect on stability achieved in financial and currency system.

He noted that the government would continue to drive political, economic and financial reforms in the country, in order to improve the business environment and make Angola an important centre for private investment in Africa.

The minister of State said that, with the privatisation process, many state assets that were abandoned and has been totally stagnant become now fully operational, providing jobs, paying taxes to the state and generating profits.

Manuel Nunes Júnior realçou o facto de as privatizações terem criado 2.763 postos de trabalhos directos, entre 1. 233 novos postos de trabalho e a manutenção de1. 530 postos de trabalho que poderiam estar em causa, “caso as empresas visadas não tivessem sido reconduzidas para um caminho de recuperação e de eficiência”.

Manuel Nunes Júnior highlighted the fact that the privatisations had created 2,763 direct jobs, between 1. 233 new jobs and the maintenance of 1. 530 jobs that could have been at stake, “if the companies in question had not been reinstated towards a path of recovery and efficiency.

According to him, the new owners, in general, made strong investments in the acquired companies so that they could produce “not with a greater dimension, but also in a more efficient way.

“Investments were made by the new owners in new equipment and production processes, leading to the technological modernisation of the companies and creating the foundations for them to be able to reduce their operating costs and become, more competitive,” he said.

He added that the first phase of this privatisation process is a basis for drawing lessons about what has already been done.

“All the mistakes, deficiencies and shortcomings recorded in the first phase should be removed now, in this second phase, based on the professionalism, rigour, zeal and commitment of the leaders and officials involved in the management of this programme,” he added.

The Government has extended the privatisation process of about 73 assets in the period 2023-2026, a lower number than the 93 companies registered between 2019-2022.

The forecast is contained in Presidential Decree No. 78/23 of 28 March that approves the extension of the execution period of the Privatisation Programme – PROPRIV, for the period in reference.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

IMF conducts first post-financing evaluation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Wednesday it will make the first post-financing assessment of Angola, worth USD4.5 billion.

This will be at the First IMF monitoring mission. The institution concluded on December 22, 2021 the sixth and final evaluation of the Expanded Financing Programme.

The post-financing monitoring programme allows the IMF to monitor the evolution of the country’s macroeconomic policies and the potential risks that impact on Angola’s capacity to receive its internal and external commitments.

This first Mission, expected to gather representatives from various ministerial departments, will be led by IMF senior official, Amadou Sy.

Also expected to attend the meeting are representatives from the State Asset Management Institute (IGAPE), the General Tax Administration (AGT),

the Ministries of Economy and Planning (MEP), Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas (MIREMPET).

Representatives of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), the National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) Sonangol, the Petroleum

Derivatives Regulatory Institute (IRDP), as well as other private entities or entities regulated by private legislation, such as BPC and Económico banks, will also attend the event.

The Financing Programme was approved by the Board of Executive Directors of the IMF on December 7, 2018, with a duration of 3 years.

Initially, it provided for a financial package of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) equivalent to around US$3.7 billion.

The IMF approved an increase in access of 72% of the quota as an emergency funds, raising the cumulative access from 361% to 433% of the quota, at the request of Angolan Executive, due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The move aimed at strengthening the country in the fight against the pandemic and mitigating its health, economic and social effects, as well as ensuring the implementation of the lost reforms that were being developed.

The IMF granted Angola a corresponding disbursement of Special Drawing Rights equivalent to approximately US$765 million.

The initial funding was raised from US$3.7 billion to US$4.5 billion.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Oil production grows to 278,052 barrels in March

Angola’s crude oil production reached 30.059 million barrels in March this year, an increase of 278.52 thousand barrels compared to February.

Despite the rise, the country did not achieved the rate of the production expected of 1.067 thousand barrels of oil per day (BOPD).

It obtained a daily average of 969.64 thousand (BOPD), below the February results.

Data released by the National Concessionaire, the National Oil, Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANPG), put at 29.78 million the oil production in February, a daily average of 1.063 million barrels of oil (BOPD) against 1.142 million expected.

In the first three months of 2023, Angola exported 86.92 million barrels of crude oil at an average price of USD 78, 711 for a total value of USD 6.92 billion.

OPEC basket price

The basket price of thirteen crude oil of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was at USD 78,40 per barrel last Thursday compared to USD 81,12 of Wednesday.

According to the calculations of the OPEC Secretariat published Friday that ANGOP had access to, the price dropped to 2.72 USD.

The OPEC Reference Crude Basket (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend (Algeria), Sunflower (Angola), Djeno (Congo), Zafiro (Equatorial Guinea), Rabi Light (Gabon), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), as well as, Ax Basrah Medium (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE), and Merey (Venezuela).

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Startups told to seek innovation to provide goods and services to market

National director for the Economy and Business Development of the Ministry for the Economy and Planning (MEP) Nédio dos Santos Tuesday in Luanda urged startups to seek innovation and technology aimed to provide goods and services in the quantity and quality desired by the market.

Startups need to take into account that population growth will demand more goods and services that must be met, he said during the usual MEP briefing.

The recommendation was made at taking stock activity of the 2nd edition of the Angola Startup Summit 2023, held from 27 to 29 April, under the theme, “Innovation and technology as vectors for startups in Angola,”

He noted that the event brought together more than 150 exhibitors from eight provinces across the country and received around 5,000 visitors.

He added that after the Angola Startup Summit 2023, better performance of startups was expected, particularly those that won prizes and that were expected to benefit 10 million kwanzas each.

They will also benefit from a business plan and internationalisation of the startup.

According to the source, FACRA will work with the two winners, with the possibility of investing, depending on a set of indicators to be identified.

The head of Stratup “Bayka Pay”, Lino Muengue, explained that his technological solution makes it possible to organise and identify the parks, so that the driver can freely choose the area where he wants to park.

“The project has legs to move. We are waiting for the day to present the project to the Luanda Provincial Government and we can see its implementation in the city,” he said.

In the 2nd edition of Angola Startup Summit 2023 awards went to the categories “BCI Challenge” – focused on the solution for agribusiness and monitoring the startup until maturity, “MEP Challenge”, consisting of a solution for restaurants that allows access to the bar code, and the category “GPL Challenge”, fell to Stratup “Bayka Pay” – a solution for parking in the country’s capital.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Limbe: Fako SDO calls on employers to respect new minimum wage

The Senior Divisional officer for Fako Division, Mr. Chaibou, has called on workers to be committed and diligent in their place of work and for employers to respect the minimum wage.

He spoke on May Day at the Manga Williams Avenue, in Limbe, Southwest region.

Despite threats from the separatist fighters, several workers in the Fako division, joined their peers around the world to commemorate the international labour day.

The celebration of the 137th International Labour Day was commemorated under the theme; Resilience and Decent Work: Acting Together in the World of Work to improve living Conditions and Social Inclusion.

Some 100 dedicated workers also received gold, silver, and bronze medals from the SDO.

“ I was awarded a gold silver medal in this labor day edition, I feel so elated because after serving in the University of Buea for 21 years and retiring in 2015 I’m so grateful that the state has finally recognized my services to the nation,”. An awardee, Wilson Bella said in a statement.

Some workers used the opportunity to deploy the unfavorable working conditions and called for collective actions to ameliorate the situation.

The trade unionists on their part called for better working conditions of workers and for the implementation of the new monthly minimum wage by some hesitant employers.

Source: Cameroon News Agency