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Call for Proposals from Policy Research Centres on AI4D in Africa

September 30, 2020
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) invite proposals from independent policy research organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa that are committed to using research to inform and influence national-level artificial intelligence (AI) policies and research ecosystems.
Artificial Intelligence for Development Africa
IDRC/Skyline Design

Every day, Africa’s burgeoning community of data scientists, machine learning specialists, and researchers is exploring how AI can contribute to tackling local challenges south of the Sahara. However, there are concerns about potential risks this powerful tool can pose, and how best to protect human rights, ensure sustainable well-being, and avoid making existing inequalities even worse.

The goal of this call for proposals is to enable African think tanks to inform and shape policies and strategies on AI, support the adoption of responsible AI, and amplify the voices of African experts in this global conversation.

This initiative will support the two independent African policy research institutions, each representing distinct linguistic regions (Anglophone and Francophone). The funds will support the selected AI policy centres to: 

  • develop high-quality AI policy research that brings together different perspectives on responsible AI issues and policy and addresses the interplay of these issues locally, regionally, and globally;
  • strengthen research centres’ ability to provide evidence that informs legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks on AI at national, regional, and global levels; and
  • improve key aspects of organizational performance and institutional capacity to support AI policy subject expertise. 

For this call, the working approach to responsible AI policy is about facilitating the development of public policies that promote the inclusive benefits of AI that will serve the population while mitigating the potential costs and risks.  



The deadline for submission of the proposal online is 23:59 EST on Nov 4, 2020. 

This call is part of the four-year Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa (AI4D Africa) program, a joint endeavor between Sida and IDRC. AI4D Africa aims to foster the development of policies and regulations that support responsible AI in Africa; that is, AI applications that are inclusive, sustainable, ethical, and supportive of human rights.