New initiative aims to support Africa’s digitization efforts via AI, data science projects

Ada Labs Africa and AI Center of Excellence (AICE) have announced an initiative with NVIDIA to contribute to the digitization of the African continent through artificial intelligence (AI) and collaborate on a number of data science and AI projects.

The CEO of Ada Labs Africa, John Kamara, said the relationship will strengthen the capability of data science and AI rollouts in Africa as the two organizations collectively work to build capacity to train AI engineers in Africa. The new initiative will also address the scarcity and cost of skilled AI engineers.

(TOP: John Kamara, founder, Ada Labs and AICE Africa, speaking at the second inaugural quarterly AI for Leaders Roundtable in Zambia. He reinforced his sentiments on AICE Africa supporting the development of AI engineers in Zambia).

“Our journey in contributing to digitize the African continent has taken another important leap because of this initiative. We have invested heavily in infrastructure and platforms that will enable digitization of some of the key sectors affecting African growth and understand the critical role of AI in achieving our mission efficiently. However, if we do not have enough qualified people to manage AI systems, our efforts will be futile.

“This collaboration will help develop solutions, methodologies and best practices that are mutually beneficial for our companies, clients and market as a whole,” said Kamara.

The AI Center for Excellence (AICE Africa) in Nairobi has already started training the first cohort of 40 AI engineers as part of this initiative and launched a CEO roundtable series to demystify AI for C-level executives across Africa. The first roundtable in the series was held in January, and another session took place at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference in April. More sessions are planned for the coming months.

https://youtu.be/po9XiokbL3w

The initiative also aims at strengthening the buildup of the next generation of socially impactful and commercially driven entrepreneurs who will change the world from Africa. Ada Labs Africa and AICE will contribute together to several open-source AI technologies that will help innovators design, develop, deploy and monitor predictive models more quickly and efficiently.

NVIDIA’s Head of Emerging Areas, Kate Kallot, said: “Bringing together our combined expertise and experience in the market will help provide relevant solutions and contribute to a robust AI industry in Africa. We are looking forward to addressing the opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society across the continent.”

The companies will collaborate to train over 4,000 AI engineers in five cities in Africa, starting with Nairobi, Kenya, over the next three years and will include fostering applied AI research dedicated to solving challenges relevant to local ecosystems.

The collaboration also aims to strengthen relations with key stakeholders, including policymakers in the technology, computing and innovation ecosystem, and to build a transformational tech space on the continent.

Ada Labs is a smart venture building hub with a mission to build, incubate and launch impact-driven technology companies and entrepreneurs working to solve some of Africa’s  most pertinent challenges. Ada Labs uses smart technologies (AI and Blockchain) as building blocks to create solutions that are SDG focused, commercially viable and scalable across Africa and other parts of the world.

Ada Labs has so far built 13 companies working in various sectors including in AgriTech, HealthTech, WomenTech, FinTech, AdTech, SmeTech and other industries and is headquartered in Nairobi Kenya, with a presence in Nigeria, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and UK.

Artificial Intelligence Centre of Excellence (AICE) Africa champions AI solutions, builds capacity, demystifies Artificial Intelligence in Africa and creates ethical AI solutions that tackles Africa’s challenges. AICE is built on the belief that the right education and competencies can unlock human potential and make the world a better place. Driven by the desire to train African AI engineers to solve African problems and create a platform for further collaboration where multi-industry stakeholders from development partners, civil societies, entrepreneurs, academia, government, private sectors, and all industry players can harness the common good of the potential of AI in enhancing health, agriculture, education, good governance, financial independence and general economic growth.

The Centre of Excellence is built on three models; AI Knowledge Sharing & Capacity Building, AI Research & Development that will create opportunities for adoption and utilization of AI across Africa and beyond; and Provision of AI as a Service in Africa.

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