GRAIN takes part in the inaugural AfricAI 2023 conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

The GRAIN consortium (IPAR Think Tank , CSEA and Sunbird AI) is participating in the inaugural AfricAI conference on June 12-14, 2023 in Kigali. The conference aims to enable participants from AI communities and ecosystems in Africa to share knowledge and best practices from diverse contexts and perspectives; to provide a platform for exchange between research, public and private sectors to build responsible and open AI ecosystems; and finally, to create new alliances and opportunities for future collaboration.

The event welcomes around 150 participants from AI4D's Africa program and GIZ's FAIR Forward initiative, including consortia partners, African AI researchers, grantees, AI practitioners and policymakers. 

The GRAIN delegation will participate in and lead the following activities:

Panel: Panel: Policy challenges of AI in Africa - Boosting the engagement of African decision-makers

In order to put Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Africa back at the heart of discussions on cross-cutting development issues, and to support political change, the involvement and commitment of decision-makers must be supported by highlighting the importance of AI in everyday life and the challenges linked to this theme.

This panel discussion on the theme of "Policy challenges of AI in Africa - Boosting the commitment of African decision-makers" will enable us to learn more about the experiences of certain African countries in terms of regulations, legislation and usage, explore prospects for collaboration and share best practices while driving a pan-African dynamic of responsible Artificial Intelligence.

It will be a platform for conversations between political decision-makers representing the African Union Commission and its member states such as Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda and Benin, as well as experts, innovators and researchers, experts and other major players in AI from French-speaking Africa to emerge with 2 to 3 commitments from decision-makers in the region with the aim of adopting more inclusive, responsible and ethical policies on AI adjacent to a pan-African vision.

With the participation of Dr Laure Tall, Research Director at IPAR.

Atelier interactif : Cartographie du paysage des réseaux pour une IA responsable et l’égalité des sexes en Afrique subsaharienne

De gauche à droite: Dr Ernest Mwebaze (Sunbird AI), Tabara Korka Ndiaye (IPAR Think Tank), Dr Laure Tall (IPAR Think Tank) et Dr Adedeji Adeniran (CSEA)

The GRAIN network is a decentralized and diverse network focused on responsible AI and gender in Sub-Saharan Africa. The network aims to bring together established and locally-owned grassroots organizations committed to the common goal/purpose of promoting responsible AI and gender equality. The network operates through a shared governance model that emphasizes open collaboration, contribution, and sharing. In this interactive workshop, participants will share their current networking activities and connections related to responsible AI and gender in Sub-Saharan Africa, identify challenges and restrictions, and collaboratively map out the networking and sharing landscape. The workshop will conclude with jointly identifying three next steps to enhance sharing within the African responsible AI space.

The workshop will be led by Dr Laure Tall (IPAR Think Tank), Dr Ernest Mwebaze (Sunbird AI), Dr Adedeji Adeniran (CSEA), Tabara Korka Ndiaye (IPAR Think Tank)

Panel: Sub-regional and continental dynamics: what are the main challenges for responsible AI in Africa?

In Africa, AI can make a major contribution to development, as a driving force for inclusive and sustainable growth. It can greatly improve mobile money platforms, business process outsourcing, the fight against poverty and inequality, the supply of goods and services, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 the Africa we want. The continent, particularly through the youth of its population, has real assets for the development of AI, and can occupy a place in the debates (technological, ethical, etc.).

Cependant, le développement et l?utilisation de systèmes d?IA n?est pas sans risque pour les sociétés africaines. Les pays africains éprouvent des difficultés à faire face au développement et à l?utilisation de l?IA, malgré l?existence et/ou l?émergence d?instruments juridiques, politiques et institutionnels encadrant l?évolution fulgurante des nouvelles technologies.

This panel will discuss the case of some French-speaking West African countries, with a focus on initiatives undertaken to address the issues, challenges and processes underway to develop a strategy for responsible AI development.

Dr Laure Tall will moderate the event.