Workshop to launch AI Network of Excellence in sub-Saharan Africa

April 03, 2019

Imagine a world where artificial intelligence (AI) can be leveraged to address language barriers, find new solutions for climate change, and deliver better education.

Multi-coloured lights illuminate office towers.
Mike Kononov

IDRC and its partners, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the UK’s Knowledge 4 All Foundation, organized a three-day workshop in Nairobi to address just that. Machine learning and AI practitioners from research communities and the private sector came together to lay the foundations for building AI expertise in Africa and to launch the Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) Network of Excellence in sub-Saharan Africa.

Designed to formulate activities to strengthen the work of African AI4D researchers, policymakers, and practitioners, the workshop assessed the African machine learning and AI landscape, built an African AI research roadmap, and supported the development of cross-continental cooperation for using AI to advance progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Participants also explored how to improve gender equality in machine learning fields and how to make better use of AI to address ongoing and emerging development challenges.

Hosted with the support of IBM Nairobi and Strathmore University, the workshop built on previous scoping and mapping efforts in support of artificial intelligence for development and will inform emerging issues and the research roadmap.