Aug 07, 2023 | News

Pioneering Africa's AI Future: Convening of African AI Experts to Finalise the AU-AI Continental Strategy

In line with the commitment to promote innovation and technological development, the African Union High-Level Panel on Emerging Technologies (APET)  and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) are convening a consultative meeting with African Artificial Intelligence (AI) experts from the 7th to the 11th of August in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The objective of this meeting is to finalise the drafting of the AU-AI Continental Strategy encompassing legislative, regulatory, ethical, policy, and infrastructural frameworks.

Africa envisions a future where AI becomes a catalyst for unprecedented growth and progress across the continent. As articulated in pivotal frameworks such as The Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (2020-2030), Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024), and Agenda 2063, AI has immense potential to positively impact diverse sectors. Recognising this potential, APET released a report in February 2023 titled "Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Africa's Socio-Economic Development," highlighting the crucial role of AI in shaping the continent's future.

By embracing AI technology, Africa can unlock new economic development, healthcare, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and governance frontiers. AI-driven innovations have the potential to transform healthcare delivery, enhance agricultural productivity, and bridge the digital divide, empowering communities with access to quality education and financial services. Furthermore, AI can streamline governance, promote e-governance, and foster transparent and efficient public service delivery. Considering the immense potential that AI holds for the continent, this consultative meeting will pave the way for a comprehensive strategy that will revolutionise Africa for the better.

The upcoming meeting builds on the success of previous gatherings in Dakar, Senegal, and Kigali, Rwanda, where AI experts laid the foundation for the AU-AI Continental Strategy for Africa. With this strategy's finalisation, Africa is set to accelerate its AI journey, taking the lead in the global AI revolution.

During a planning meeting, Prof Aggrey Ambali, Senior Advisor of the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation at AUDA-NEPAD emphasised the urgency of adopting AI in Africa, stating that, "AI presents a unique opportunity for Africa to leapfrog into a prosperous future. By leveraging appropriate AI technologies in a responsive manner and fostering an enabling ecosystem, we can unlock Africa's immense potential and address its socio-economic challenges in a sustainable manner."

Together, with continental AI experts, this consultative meeting marks a pivotal moment in Africa's pursuit of AI-driven socio-economic growth. As the continent unites to shape a cohesive AI strategy, AUDA-NEPAD and APET remain steadfast in their commitment to fostering an inclusive, innovative and digitally empowered Africa.


For more information, please contact:

Barbara Glover and Nhlawulo Shikwambane

African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)