About The Event

 

ACHIEVING THE PROMISE OF AI IN AFRICA

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Introduction

The landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving globally, and Africa is becoming a significant participant in this transformation. Various entities across the continent are engaged in AI skills development, research, and the creation of AI solutions catering to unique African use-cases. However, to fully actualize the potential benefits of AI for Africa’s over a billion inhabitants, we must work towards more tangible applications of these emerging technologies by local firms and resolve the current challenges that hinder progress.

In recent years, we’ve seen tech giants such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft establish labs to catalyze AI research and development within Africa. Organizations like Data Science Africa and Deep Learning Indaba are intensifying skill development and training while promoting collaborative platforms that unite various stakeholders. Furthermore, African universities are contributing significantly to research that advances AI on the continent.

The African AI startup scene is also witnessing significant growth, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of a Tunisian-founded AI startup by BioNTech for approximately $680 million, which is one of the largest startup acquisitions on the continent.

Challenges & Opportunities

Despite these encouraging advancements, real-life applications of AI on the continent, especially by indigenous firms, remain limited. This can be attributed to data availability issues, accessibility of infrastructure and resources, funding constraints, and a disparity between developers and experts.

To unlock AI’s full potential for Africans, we must transcend the development of AI tools and focus more on their translational aspects. While there are promising implementations underway, there is a pressing need to stimulate more practical and impactful AI applications that can significantly improve life for the continent’s inhabitants.

Africa AI Impact Summit

The African AI Vanguard seeks to address these issues through its inaugural Summit, a one-day gathering of leading figures, experts, policymakers, and government officials in Africa. The Summit’s objective is to foster dialogue, share ideas, learn from successful AI implementations on the continent, and network amongst Africans in the AI translational space. The Summit will feature a variety of sessions, including a keynote speech, panel discussions, and workshops. A particular highlight will be the Startup Showcase session, which will spotlight socially impactful AI tools being built or deployed on the continent. Additionally, the event will host a hackathon to inspire innovative solutions to pressing problems.

Anticipated Outcomes and Impact

Following the Summit, a comprehensive whitepaper will be published summarizing the key findings and discussions. The Summit aims to foster partnerships, connect developers with resources and experts, raise awareness about ongoing solutions, and facilitate skill acquisition through workshops.

We believe that the African AI Vanguard Summit represents an important step towards bringing Africa to the forefront of AI innovation and applications. Together, we can work towards realizing the promise of AI for Africa.

The conference programme will contain a mixture of high profile and influential plenary speakers, a range of networking opportunities to provide delegates with information, tools and fresh thinking to help take their organisation forward.