Research ICT Africa at Mozilla Festival 2022

The Mozilla Festival (Mozfest) is an annual convention hosted by the Mozilla Foundation to harness the collective power of partnerships. The festival brings together artists, public interest technologists, policymakers and activists to creatively work together with the aim of  creating trustworthy artificial intelligence and a healthy internet.

This year’s virtual event takes place from 7th to 11th March, 2022 with registrations to the various sessions open to the public here.

Research ICT Africa is hosting a few interactive sessions under the decolonised AI futures; gender, tech and intersectionality as well as misinformation and disinformation themes:

Decolonising AI? A view from the South

Hosted in collaboration with Digital Futures Lab

8 March 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 SAST/ UTC+2

Registration here

This extended workshop is a response to the power asymmetries fueling the production of artificial intelligence technologies and the continuation with earlier colonial logics. Hosted by RIA’s Dr Rachel Adams and Digital Futures Lab’s Director Urvashi Aneja it will bring together civil society organisations and scholars from developing countries to consider what decolonisation means for them; whether and how it is possible; and the capacities and institutions that are needed to meaningfully shift power in our AI futures. The workshop will entail a round-table discussion followed by a design thinking exercise to articulate and develop a vocabulary, concepts, and strategies that can better situate emerging narratives around de-colonising AI futures among the political realities in the global south.

An AI-based circular economy: How do we ensure African women benefit from market disruptions?

Hosted in collaboration with the African Circular Economy Network

8 March 2022,  17:00 – 18:00 SAST/ UTC+2

Registration here

Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems have immense potential to support the United Nations sustainable development goals of achieving sustainable inclusive economic growth. However, a sustainable, inclusive and equitable circular economy model will need to consider ways to make the processes and business models more gender sensitive, particularly in industries often dominated by men. As AI and the Circular Economy are emerging fields in Africa, Research ICT Africa’s Shamira Ahmed an Kristophina Shilongo and the African Circular Economy Network’s Jocelyne Landry Tsonang are hosting an interactive research workshop as an initial first step to bring together scholars and practitioners seeking to better understand how a gender responsive AI-driven Circular Economy in Africa can be realised. This blog offers some provocations to have the conversation on how a gender responsive AI-driven CE in Africa can be fostered.

The Real Work of Decolonisation: Underlying Patterns of Colonial Domination in Africa Driving AI Futures

Hosted by Temple University’s Beasley School of Law & Institute on Law, Innovation & Technology (iLIT)

8 March 2022, 20:00 – 21:00 SAST/ UTC+2

Registration here

Dr Rachel Adams will be part of this discussion which will engage with the reality that colonial relationships pre-dating the AI decolonisation conversation continue to shape AI and other digital-era technologies in African contexts. It will discuss ways that decolonisation – digital or otherwise – will require changes in underlying social and economic structures of former colonies that have, in many African contexts, remained elusive. The hosts will reflect on their encounters with the pre-existing political, social, and economic forces that will underwrite the success or failure of AI decolonization and invite participants to situate the mounting call for a more just and equitable AI future in a searching, critical examination of colonialism in Africa today.

Next Steps in Countering Information Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa

9 March 2022, 15:45 – 16:45 SAST/ UTC+2

Registration here

In spite of the devastating effects of information disorders in sub-Saharan Africa, there is insufficient research on the actors responses to information disorder in the socio-economic and political context of the region. Following the completion of a scoping study on the various methods and strategies deployed by actors in sub-Saharan region to ameliorate mis/disinformation Researchers on the project Kristophina Shilongo, Hanani Hlomani and Dominique Diouf will share the findings of this study. The workshop is open to actors, experts and researchers working on information disorders in the global south and aims to establish discourse and share ideas on how best the sub-Saharan region can approach the combatting of the information disorder going forward in light of the results of the study. For insights into the study read this policy brief.

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