Introducing AI4D Africa’s Anglophone Multidisciplinary Research Lab

October 13, 2021

To realise the potential of Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa, local, relevant, multidisciplinary research is essential to deepen our understanding of responsible AI in the African context. As part of the third pillar of the AI4D Africa program, ‘Strengthening Talent’ we set out to partner with the AI community in establishing two linguistically grouped AI4D Africa Multidisciplinary Research Labs.

Through these labs, we seek to strengthen the capacity of public universities to conduct high-quality, multidisciplinary research on responsible AI development on the continent. This lab will be tasked with developing and implementing a multi-disciplinary research agenda on responsible, African AI that is informed by national or local priorities, bringing on board talented scholars and cultivate expertise to leverage AI4D advances and strengthening the regional AI ecosystem to spark new ideas and create new alliances.

We are excited to announce that the Anglophone AI4D Africa Multidisciplinary Lab will be a collaborative effort between the University of Dodoma (UDOM) and the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology.

University of Dodoma. Image courtesy of their website

“[This] partnership will help Africa in achieving excellence in AI research and innovations that promote sustainable human development and economic advancement. This project is a unique collaboration across two public academic institutions in Tanzania, UDOM & NM-AIST; with the aim of establishing a multidisciplinary AI4D lab that fosters research, training, innovation, and internationalization. The lab will bring together academia, industries and public institutions in Africa to develop research-based AI solutions that can contribute to addressing societal challenges in an equitable and gender responsive manner”,  Dr. Ally S. Nyamawe , a representative of the newly established lab.

Other specific objectives of this lab include:

  • To strengthen research and teaching capacity in responsible AI across Anglophone Africa through mentorship, community building and the equitable distribution of high-quality teaching and training materials; 
  • To increase understanding of how to advance responsible, multidisciplinary and gender-inclusive African AI research methodologies and training capacity for new and experienced researchers through mentoring and exploratory research,
  • To explore how to support AI deployment and commercialization from academia to the private sector.  

We are excited to support this project and see the ideas, innovations and solutions that come out of this multidisciplinary lab

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This lab is supported by AI4D Africa, a four year program CAD 20M program funded by IDRC & Sida. Learn more about the program here