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Towards an Africa-wide strategy for artificial intelligence

The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has launched a white paper and roadmap for the development of artificial intelligence (AI), kicking off a coordinated effort for a continent-wide approach to AI technologies.
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The African Union Development Agency’s AI white paper and roadmap

AUDA-NEPAD's white paper and roadmap on AI, which were developed with the support of IDRC, call for a continent-wide strategy for AI in Africa. The white paper highlights the potential of AI to empower Africans to solve their own development challenges while also acknowledging AI risks and infrastructure limitations on the continent. As such, the document outlines policy options which can promote responsible AI uptake and innovation while mitigating its risks.

The white paper, available for review here, addresses issues such as human capital, infrastructure and data, AI regulation and safety, AI economy, building sustainable partnerships and monitoring and evaluation. The strategy is meant to coordinate an overall approach, as well as serve as a policy template for African countries that need support to develop their own approaches.

Over the next few months, AUDA-NEPAD will be gathering feedback, contributions and inputs from policymakers, funders, big tech, academia and others via email surveys, workshops and interviews.

In a post on LinkedIN, IDRC research partner and AUDA-NEPAD program manager Barbara Glover said: “feedback is invaluable as we aim to create a document that not only reflects the current state of AI on our continent but also anticipates future developments and needs.”

IDRC looks forward to continuing its support of AUDA-NEPAD’s work in this area.