Africa AI4D Policy Project: Call for Fellowships & Collaborations

Africa AI4D Policy Project

Join or play a role in the new Africa Artificial Intelligence for Development Policy Centre

Call for Fellowships & Expressions of Interest to Collaborate

Deadline: 7 July 2021

This opportunity is closed!

Do you believe in digital equality and recognise the need for data justice to underpin the adoption of advanced technologies for them to be truly developmental and transformative? 

Are you interested in how, as a continent and globally, we can promote Just AI – and in conducting research on how this can be achieved through ensuring rights-preserving regulatory frameworks? How can we create a safe, secure, and trusted environment for the developmental application of AI and what economic and social regulations are required to ensure a better distribution of the opportunities for innovation as well as mitigation of risks associated with the uneven impacts of known harms?

RIA’s Africa AI4D Policy Project invites applications for fellowships of three, six or 12 months. The research agenda for the next three years will focus on Just AI in three thematic areas with intersectional inequality and gender as a cross cutting theme:

  • Sustainable development and the circular economy
  • Security and trust
  • Data and algorithmic governance
What do we offer?

By joining RIA’s Project, you get to work on cutting-edge digital policy issues from a uniquely African perspective. We offer competitive research stipends in addition to invaluable interdisciplinary experience working with a bustling and diverse team on some of the most pressing issues facing not only our continent but the world.

While we would prefer to welcome you to our offices at the Waterfront at the foot of Table Mountain in order for you to mentor and support the development of our team, we will also consider applications from established scholars in the field who wish to work remotely, particularly until travel is more available and health risks are reduced. 

What do you need to have to apply?

Senior Fellows

Generally, applicants for senior fellowships should hold a Doctoral degree with 5 years of research/policy experience, or a Master’s degree with 10 years of research/policy experience, however, we encourage candidates with expertise in this dynamic and growing area to express their interest. 

Junior  Fellows

Junior fellowships are also available to candidates with strong writing, language and online research skills, and who are competent at extracting and summarising information from reports and translating complex topics and jargon into more understandable formats.

How do I apply?

Applicants should submit, by 7 July 2021:

  • a CV of max two pages long plus list of publications, 
  • the names of two references, 
  • two recent writing examples (no older than one year) – one academic and one informal in style, and
  • a motivation/cover letter, including a research idea of relevance to AI policy in Africa.

Submit your documentation to the HR Manager:

More about RIA and the Project

Research ICT Africa (RIA) has over 15 years of experience in research on information and communication technology (ICT) policy and regulation. Its new Africa AI4D Policy Centre was developed in response to a call by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It builds on another grant from IDRC for the establishment of cyber policy think tanks in the Global South. The Project builds upon RIA’s existing capacity while focusing specifically on cyber policy challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Project will undertake research to influence policy, organisational performance and capacity-building initiatives in the field of cyber policy. Like RIA’s other work, the Project will provide African stakeholders with the information and analysis required to develop innovative and appropriate policies better able to address the challenges of sustainable development on the continent. It thereby aims to facilitate evidence-based and informed policymaking for supporting the development of an Internet that is free (based on and supportive of human rights), trusted (based on sound cybersecurity measures), and innovative (based on enabling policy environments).

While the Project has a distinctively African focus, policies pertaining to AI operate not only at national and regional levels but also at a global level of governance. The Project therefore promotes interaction between researchers and other stakeholders at national, regional and international levels to harmonise methodologies, tools and standards for conducting cyber policy research that is in the interest of a free, open, innovative and secure cyber realm. The Project also benefits from the synergies of RIA’s strong existing research network of local partners in over twenty African countries together with their sister networks in Asia (LIRNEasia) and Latin America (DIRSI) and partnership with another IDRC think tank in East Africa, CIPIT. It is involved in several international and regional cyber policy and AI initiatives including with the African Union Commission and SADC and participates in the Global Partnership on AI, hosted by the OECD.