The Responsible Artificial Intelligence Lab (RAIL) team visited Satellite Labs at the University of Cabo Verde, Cabo Verde and Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD), Senegal, from the 28th of November to the 6th of December 2023, for workshops, meetings and interactions.
The RAIL team included Prof. Jerry John Kponyo, Principal Investigator and Scientific Director, Prof. Francis Kemausuor, Energy Systems Thematic Lead, Prof. Arlindo Veiga, Head of Satellite Lab in Cabo Verde, Prof. Mahamadou Lamine Ba, Head of Satellite Lab in Senegal, Dr. Eric Tutu Tchao, Partnership Coordinator and Agricultural Innovation and Food Security Thematic Lead, Dr. Mrs. Eunice Akyereko Adjei, Women in Technology Officer, Mr. Darlington Akogo, AI Consultant and CEO of minoHealth AI and karaAgro AI Labs, Mr. Abraham Yenu Lambon, Accountant and Miss Gifty Antoinette Hukpati, Communication Officer.
The team participated in the RAIL Cabo Verde Workshop on 29th November 2023, themed, Responsible AI in Promoting Diversity and Sustainable Development in the ECOWAS Region.
The workshop had insightful and thought-provoking remarks from His Excellency Jose Maria Neves, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, Her Excellency Carla Grijó, Ambassador of the European Union to Cabo Verde, Prof. Arlindo Barreto, Rector of the University of Cabo Verde and Prof. Jerry John Kponyo, Scientific Director and Principal Investigator of RAIL.
They highlighted the significant gap in digital development in Africa and the need for Africans to take responsibility for their affairs and use AI for the common good.
They admonished researchers to enhance the use of AI in a responsible way and put humans at the centre of AI solutions.
A fully furnished Responsible and Smart Solutions Lab (RS2 Lab) was inaugurated to train local talent in research, innovation and development of multidisciplinary responsible AI and smart solutions.
The RAIL team led by Prof. Kponyo met and engaged with the Secretary of State for Higher Education, Dr. Euridice Monteiro, and Rector of the University of Cabo Verde, Prof. Arlindo Barreto, on the future of the lab moving into the second phase.
Prof. Kponyo mentioned that RAIL aims to strengthen the consortium of labs in Ghana, at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Cape Verde in Cabo Verde and Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, which has a unique opportunity to make a significant impact.
“The work we can do together goes beyond AI because three countries and universities work closely with industry for a bigger collaboration. Like a mustard seed, as we constantly water and nurture this collaboration, we will grow into the biggest tree and impact the world with our fruits.”
The team also visited TeckPark in Cabo Verde and toured the facility.
Prof. Kponyo spoke on Ethical AI for Safeguarding Privacy in Africa’s IT Landscape at the Cybersecurity Summer School organised by Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (ESP – UCAD), Senegal on 5th December 2023.
Speaking on the overview of data protection in Africa, he said 36 of 55 African countries have implemented data protection laws, and only 24 out of the 36 countries have set up data protection agencies to enforce these laws. He said the ethical concerns in data privacy must be addressed to prevent harm, ensure human dignity, promote trust in AI systems and foster innovation.
“Privacy of users of AI must be protected to ensure trust and reduce harm; though this might be challenging, it will lead to further innovation in the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning space.”
The team held discussions with the Staff of the Computer Engineering Department, the Management of Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique (ESP) and the Pro-Rector of Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD).
The RAIL team visited and toured CICASS, Gainde 2000 and Senelec, companies in Darkar, Senegal.