CITADEL – The Francophone AI4D Africa Multidisciplinary Research Lab

November 16, 2021

Artificial Intelligence is lauded as a beacon of hope for the development of the Global South. This technology has the potential to revolutionise areas ranging from education to agriculture to medicine. Unfortunately, to date, the academic literature and the applications on the market mainly offer a perspective of the world that is that of the great universities of very advanced countries or that of the giants of the digital industry. 

In fact, the real potential of AI to meet the challenges in the least developed countries is not yet fully demonstrated and exploited. Specifically,  research in French-speaking Africa lacks the necessary resources to:

  • Analyze, evaluate and contribute to the state of knowledge of basic research in AI, with a local African perspective.
  • Reason holistically on the implementation and deployment of AI models in concrete contextualized applications.
  • Increase skills (considering the least represented social strata, especially the gender issue) to boost the local AI industry.
  • Systematically demonstrate the risks of AI in order to inform the public authorities and civil society about the inadequacies of local regulations.

To continue the work of overcoming these and more challenges, AI4D Africa set out to support the establishment of a multidisciplinary research lab based in Francophone Africa. We are excited to announce the launch of the Interdisciplinary Center of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence for Development (CITADEL)

Captured during the launch of CITADEL

The CITADEL centre is a collaboration between Burkina Faso Virtual University and Open Burkina. It will welcome any researcher from Burkina Faso (and the sub-region) looking for a favourable environment to conduct high quality and globally competitive research that is interdisciplinary and engaged in fields relevant in the African context.

CITADEL will also train new enthusiasts with versatile skills that meet the needs of local industry and research.

This new lab is the second of the two multidisciplinary research labs that the AI4D Africa program has set out to support aimed at strengthening the capacity of AI researchers and innovators in the African continent.  

RELATED: Introducing AI4D Africa’s Anglophone Multidisciplinary Research Lab 

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