Governance and Human Rights
State of AI in Africa
The report resulting from this scan of the African AI ecosystem will serve as a strategic document and decision support tool that will enable CEIMIA and other major AI players to better identify Africa’s needs and priorities for the development of responsible AI solutions.
A preliminary scan of the African AI ecosystem is a guarantee for the rising of relevant AI solutions.
To have a clear picture of AI-Ecosystems in Africa, we are conducting a study based on literature review (books, reports, peer-reviewed papers, funding agency documents, etc.). Our intent is to identify stakeholders, initiatives, policies, major topics, etc., and to document challenges and opportunities for the broad adoption of AI in Africa.
Early in 2021, IDRC funded a project entitled “Improving the engagement and representation of developing countries in the work of CEIMIA and GPAI”. The objective of the project is to develop expertise within CEIMIA and GPAI that can foster an understanding of the issues related to artificial intelligence for countries of the Global South. Such a mission cannot be completed without first knowing and understanding the state of AI in Africa. Hence the State of AI in Africa sub-project, which aims to:
- Identify the institutional, political, and human actors of the AI ecosystem;
- Describe the key areas of collaboration that could contribute to the development of AI solutions that meet Africa’s development needs; and
- Serve as a common thread that connects the actors of the AI ecosystem in Canada with those of the AI ecosystem in Africa.
The immediate impact of this project has been:
- Signature of a partnership agreement between Advanced School of Mass Communication (ESSTIC) and CEIMIA, which supports master students in Digital Humanities from ESSTIC, to conduct research related to the “State of AI in Africa” – specifically, ongoing initiatives, existing policies, research and infrastructure, etc. culminating in a series of reports to be published.
- Identification of the areas of collaboration from the four CEIMIA programmes (Data for AI, Climate Action, Global Health, Governance & Human Rights) to more specific areas such as:
- 1) Gender equity and empowerment;
- 2) Access to knowledge and discoverability;
- 3) Agriculture and food security;
- 4) Economy and entrepreneurship.
- Laying the groundwork for the idea of a pan-African Think Tank on Responsible AI.
Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
Researcher in residence
Collaborative opportunities with CEIMIA
Collaborating with CEIMIA means contributing to an understanding of Africa’s needs and priorities for the development of responsible AI solutions.
For this project, we are interested in collaborating with stakeholders and/or organisations working on AI and data governance who have a particular focus or mandate that concerns these topics in the African context. The objective of these collaborations would be to better inform the project’s works and outputs, as well as better connect the actors of the AI ecosystem in Canada with those of the AI ecosystem in Africa.