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Introducing the New AI Hub for Gender and Inclusion Innovation Research in Africa

March 8, 2022

A persistent challenge in the pursuit of sustainable development in Africa is the ongoing prevalence of gender inequalities and exclusions that limit access to resources, education and opportunity. Artificial intelligence technologies have the potential to address some of these persistent inequities.

With AI we can help advance the Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, contributing to the realisation of sustainable and inclusive societies. However, AI technologies, if not deployed effectively, risk perpetuating or even increasing bias, due to flawed assumptions in algorithms and fairness modelling and datasets with unrepresentative samples or historical bias and trends. 

Given the increasing adoption of AI technologies in Africa, this project will focus on building the field to promote a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within Africa’s research and policy communities to use AI for gender equality and inclusion, including within specific domains such as agriculture, government service delivery and social policy. 

The main objective of this initiative is to support the responsible development, deployment and scaling of AI innovations to help advance gender equality and inclusion in Africa by setting up, managing and supporting an innovation research network.

We are happy to announce that this network will be set up by a consortium of four organisations, namely; Initiative Prospective agricole et rurale , Sunbird AI , Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa and We Robotics

The RAIGE (Responsible AI for Gender Inclusion and Equality) network, will operate as a “collaboration space” bringing together stakeholders with the needed expertise, allowing Self-Sustainability by building on existing capacity.  Our network members will have the role of gender and AI ‘translators’ who are able to navigate both worlds and find common language between gender equality experts, ethicists and technologists to facilitate transdisciplinary research and solutions

Laure Tall, A representative of the consortium

The consortium will set up and manage a network which will consist of six to 10 innovation research projects that will develop, deploy, test and seek to scale responsible and African-led AI innovations. This research will deepen our understanding of responsible AI and its link to gender equality and inclusion. The research will also be focusing on strengthening the capacity of AI researchers, especially women, to use AI to tackle important development challenges with local communities. 

We are looking forward to the innovative solutions that will come out of this network. 

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This project is part of the innovation stream of the AI for Development Africa (AI4D Africa) program, which is dedicated to a future where Africans across all regions create and use AI to lead healthier, happier and greener lives. AI4D Africa is co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and IDRC. Click here for more information