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Initiative for the Development of Artificial Intelligence (IDIA): Francophone Policy Research Network

NiyelPolicyResearchwest africa

ABSTRACT:

In Francophone Africa, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at a precarious stage and remains virtually untapped. Little known to decision-makers, it nevertheless has an essential role to play in improving the efficiency of processes and the quality of decision-making. Institutions such as AFRIA (Francophone Agency for Artificial Intelligence) are working to establish public policies that stimulate digital technology and transform AI challenges into development opportunities. This is an important step, but one that remains insufficient to push governments to give more importance to AI and its solutions.

The Initiative for the Development of Artificial Intelligence (IDAI) is a research project that aims to address the lack of data and evidence on artificial intelligence (AI) in Francophone Africa and will contribute to the adoption of responsible AI in Francophone Africa through research that informs national and regional strategies and policies. It will provide concrete avenues for public policies and strategies in Francophone Africa that consider all the issues around responsible AI, through research conducted by committed and complementary institutions and in collaboration with decision makers. 

To do this, the project will establish a Francophone network of researchers working on AI policies, work to build the capacity of research teams and policy makers in Francophone Africa, and support research teams in producing contextual, targeted, and demand-driven research with input from policy makers. The evidence produced and the engagement of policy makers upstream of the project will be key to influencing the development and adoption of policies and strategies on responsible AI. 

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:

  • Valerie Traore

GENERAL OBJECTIVE:

To contribute to the adoption of responsible artificial intelligence in Francophone Africa through research that informs national and regional strategies and policies.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES:

  • Build the capacity of researchers and policy makers in Francophone Africa to propose solutions for the development of inclusive national and regional AI strategies and policies. 
  • Influence the development and adoption of policies and strategies on responsible AI that prevent harm and mitigate risk while attempting to harness the benefits of AI in Francophone Africa. 
  • Increase knowledge about responsible AI and the prerequisites necessary to ensure equitable participation from all segments of society.

PROJECT LEAD