Nature publication amplifies African voices in AI

A groundbreaking Nature article is set to reshape the narrative surrounding generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) development, spotlighting the invaluable contributions of African researchers and scientists to critical global debates. The piece constitutes a pivotal turning point in the global AI research landscape, demonstrating the strength of African voices in shaping their own agenda in relation to this emerging technology. 

In a world hungry for AI solutions to complex challenges, this publication sheds light on Africa’s burgeoning role as a vital player in evidence-based AI development. It showcases the strides made by African innovators and emphasizes the importance of evidence-building in crafting sustainable AI solutions. The research further highlights the potential for global collaboration, as African researchers forge partnerships with international counterparts to drive innovation that benefits society as a whole.

“Our intention was to highlight the critical capacities of African thinkers and innovations to establish and drive our own strategies for generative AI”, says Rachel Adams, lead author and Programme Director of AI at Research ICT Africa. 

“The article celebrates the ingenuity of African researchers and innovators who have been actively working on AI projects that address region-specific challenges, helping the Continent advance on meeting the targets set out in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’, says co-author Professor Jerry John Kponyo, Scientific Director of the Responsible AI Lab at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. 

The publication was co-authored by leading voices in AI from across the African continent, including Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa, and arose out of a workshop entitled ‘Designing an Approach and Methodology for Building Evidence for the Responsible Design and Use of Generative AI for Sustainable Development in Low-Resourced Contexts’. The workshop was organised by Research ICT Africa with support and funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and was held as a side event of the AfricAI Conference in June 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda, hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), International Development Research Centre of Canada and Niyel.

Research ICT Africa (RIA) has been the vanguard in attempts to tackle the multifaceted implications of AI in the African continent. This has been done through the African Observatory on Responsible AIJust AI project and the Global Index on Responsible AI.