The International Development Research Centre and Knowledge 4 All Foundation are organizing a three-day workshop of experts in Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) in sub Saharan Africa.
This workshop will bring together machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) practitioners from research communities across Africa and the world to collaboratively design activities that will strengthen the work of African AI4D of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.
The intention of the workshop is to scope out the African ML/AI landscape, provide inputs for an African AI research roadmap, and support the development of cross-continent cooperation on AI for sustainable development. It is anticipated that the outcome of the workshop will be a Network of Excellence on AI for sub Saharan African researchers who focus on applications and research relating to AI and human development.
This effort is part of a global AI4D initiative, which we hope will shape the use of AI in the global south, through strengthening regional collaboration and advancing global thematic initiatives. Please see IDRC’s white paper and the IDRC website for more information about the AI4D initiative.
The purpose of the workshop is to bring together key African actors involved in the development/production, research, regulation and use of AI in order to:
- Build consensus and common ground on key priority areas for the region.
- Develop a research agenda that will support an inclusive and human rights based approach to AI in Africa.
- Facilitate an AI research network of excellence to support the achievement of the SDGs.
In collaboration with African researchers and other key stakeholders, we will co-design a program of activities to foster the spread of AI applications for social good that will advance education, improve governance, and support better health care delivery. The aim is to support the development of solutions and capacities that ensure AI applications are inclusive, open, and rights-based. The workshop will be a guided, open exchange among participants to reflect on the issues raised in the agenda.
There will not be any Power Point-based lectures or presentations, except an opening talk that will lay out the territory and support the discussion on key issues. Given that the main goal of the gathering is to collectively develop a regional initiative, the activity is by invitation only. Participants have been carefully selected based on their background and knowledge associated to the issue under inquiry. There will be no media attending, nor will the event be open to the public.
Day 1 – Wednesday, 3 April 2019
|8:30||Departure from the Tamarind Tree Hotel (shuttle)|
|9:00||Registration at Strathmore University|
|9:00-10:30||Welcome and introductions|
Framing the AI4D initiative in Africa
|11:00-12:30||Understanding challenges related to AI in Africa (Plenary discussion)|
|2:00-3:30||Breakdown into four groups and drill down into key areas |
|5:30-6:00||Wrap-up and Conclusions |
|18:15||Departure from the Strathmore University|
|7:00||Dinner at the Carnivore Restaurant|
(walking distance from Tamarind Tree Hotel with vegetarian and pescetarian options)
Day 2 - Thursday, 4 April 2019
|8:30||Departure from the Tamarind Tree Hotel (shuttle)|
|9:00-10:00||Setting the stage for a Global AI network: sharing international experiences|
|10:30-12:30||Breakout into groups|
|5:00-5:15||Summary of the past two days - the Road ahead|
|20:00||Cocktail party at Tamarind Tree Hotel|
Day 3 – Friday, 5 April 2019
|8:00||Departure from the Tamarind Tree Hotel (shuttle)|
|9:00-10:00||Tour of IBM Lab and key initiatives|
|10:00-11:00||Presentation and discussion of African Network roadmap by workshop participants (slides)|
|11:00-12:30||Feedback from global AI supporters|
|1:30||Departure from IBM to Nairobi National park and|
Tamarind Tree Hotel
|2:00||Organised visit - Safari walk|
|Name||Institution / Organization|
|1||Alexandra Birch||University of Edinburgh|
|2||Benjamin Rosman||University of the Witwatersrand / CSIR|
|3||Bitange Ndemo||University of Nairobi|
|4||Brian Muhia||UTU Technologies|
|6||Ciira Maina||Dedan Kimathi University of Technology|
|7||Cynthia M. Mulenga||BongoHive|
|9||Davor Orlic||Knowledge 4 All Foundation|
|10||Deshen Moodley||University of Cape Town/Centre for Artificial Intelligence|
|11||Dr Nick Bradshaw||AI Media PTY Ltd|
|12||Jeph Acheampong||Blossom Academy|
|13||Kathleen Siminyu||Africa's Talking|
|14||John Shawe-Taylor||University College London|
|16||Langa Khumalo||University of KwaZulu-Natal|
|17||Melisa Achoko Allela||Technical University of Kenya|
|18||Moses Thiga||Kabarak University|
|19||Neil Butcher||Neil Butcher & Associates|
|20||Olubayo Adekanmbi||MTN Nigeria, Data Science Nigeria|
|21||Paula Hidalgo-Sanchis||United Nations Global Pulse|
|22||Philip Apodo Oyier||Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology|
|24||T. Idriss TINTO||CAFDO|
|25||Tejumade Afonja||AI Saturdays Lagos, InstaDeep|
|26||Ulrich Paquet||DeepMind, Deep Learning Indaba|
|27||Vukosi Marivate||University of Pretoria, CSIR, Deep Learning Indaba|
|28||Alex Comninos||Research ICT Africa|
|29||Arthur Ernest Gwagwa||Strathmore Law School|
|31||Hussein SULEMAN||University of Cape Town|
|32||Delmiro Fernandez-Reyes||University College London|
|33||Kommy||IBM Research - Africa|
|34||Sherif Elsayed-Ali||Element AI|
|35||Bolanle F. Oladejo||University of Ibadan|
|36||MALO Sadouanouan||Nazi BONI University|
|37||Latifa Hamisi Mbelwa||University of Dar es Salaam|
|38||Maria Fasli||University of Essex|
|42||Sarah Kiden||Research ICT Africa|
|43||Grace||Kenya ICT Action Network|
|46||Tonya Nyakeya||IBM Research - Africa|
|47||Alfred Ongere||AI Kenya|
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funds research in developing countries to promote growth, reduce poverty, and drive large-scale positive change. IDRC seeks to co-design a AI for Development initiative, with a focus on research and capacity-building to develop AI applications that are inclusive, ethical, and rights-based. Through this initiative, funder partners will pool and leverage resources to help shape the rollout of AI in the global south, mainly through strengthening Southern institutions.
Knowledge 4 All Foundation is the only European machine learning focused not-for-profit and an advocate of AI applications for reaching the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG4. It originated from the PASCAL Network which was an EU funded Network of Excellence comprising some 1000 machine learning, statistical and optimisation researchers. It has de facto leading and building the international machine learning community, through its activities that culminated in today’s AI hype, including supporting the NIPS conference.
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is a government agency of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Sida is responsible for organization of the bulk of Sweden's official development assistance to developing countries.
Strathmore University is a chartered university based in Nairobi, Kenya. Strathmore College was started in 1961, as the first multi-racial, multi-religious Advanced-level Sixth Form College offering science and arts subjects, by a group of professionals who formed a charitable educational trust.
- John Shawe-Taylor, UNESCO Chair in Artificial Intelligence, Director Knowledge 4 All Foundation, Head of Computer Science Dept. and Director of the Centre for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning, University College London
- Davor Orlic, COO, Knowledge 4 All Foundation
- Fernando Perini & Ruhiya Seward, Senior Program Officer, IDRC
- Kathleen Siminyu, Head of Data Science, Africa's Talking
- Isaac M Rutenberg, Strathmore Law School, Strathmore University
- Robert Muthuri, Strathmore Law School, Strathmore University
- Kommy Weldemariam, Chief Scientist, IBM Research Africa Labs
Strathmore University, Law School-Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology, Law Strathmore University, Madaraka Estate-Ole Sangale Rd, Nairobi, Kenya