Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa During and After the Pandemic at Ibrahim Governance Weekend

June 4, 2021

The Ibrahim Governance Weekend (IGW), organized by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, brings together leading voices from across Africa and beyond to discuss issues of critical importance to the continent’s progress.

As part of this year’s IGW, The Future Society (TFS) organized and led a panel discussion on how AI can be harnessed responsibly to address the health, economic, and social implications of COVID-19 in Africa. The objectives of the discussion were threefold: (i) to help build an evidence-base of how AI is being used and/or could be used in the region to navigate the immediate impact of Covid-19; (ii) to share concrete insights on how national and regional policies can build capacity and foster the responsible adoption of AI across African sectors; (iii) to gather perspectives on key challenges hindering AI’s acceleration in the region.

Panelists included:

  • Yolanda Lannquist, Head of Research & Advisory at The Future Society (moderator)
  • Tunde Fafunwa, Lead Advisor, Digital Center for Excellence UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • Dr. Patrick McSharry, Professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University Africa 
  • Rabeb Hamdani, Technical Advisor, GIZ Digital Transformation Center Tunisia 
  • Dr. Ralph Oyini Mbouna, Head of Digital Transformation, Innovation and Services, Smart Africa

The recording of the event can be found at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s website here: https://mif.live/igw/future-society.

The Future Society has also contributed to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s annual forum report by providing advisory on the use cases and challenges of AI adoption in the healthcare sector in Africa.