In response to a call by the United Nations Secretary-General for papers on Global AI Governance, this document was submitted for consideration to the High-level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence. This submission addresses artificial intelligence (AI) and democracy in Africa in the context of global governance and its potential to mitigate the risks associated with new data-driven technologies. It aims to provide a contextual and political understanding of AI and its implications for the exercise of the democratic process in Africa.
This submission draws on several years of policy engagement and research conducted by Research ICT Africa. With an African lens, we offer considerations and recommendations around key issues and priorities for the global governance of AI. We suggest that amalgamating existing institutional entities into a secretariat would have positive downstream effects on the democratic process in Africa. These entities could be identified by looking at teams that participated in the 2021 UN Inter-Agency Working Group on AI.