The successful integration and adoption of AI, often in combination with other innovative technologies in the health, energy, food, and agricultural sectors, can play an essential role in helping countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to achieve their development goals. However, there are critical gaps that inhibit this aspiration including a skills gap in digitalization services, and weaknesses in undergraduate and postgraduate programs at technical universities seeking to develop the needed skills.
The Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab (RAIL) is hosted at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. RAIL seeks to be a first step in establishing a sustainable approach to nurturing local talent to engage in multidisciplinary, responsible AI for development research and innovation with a focus on women and that that responds to capacity requirements of the public and private sector. More specifically, the lab seeks to:
- deepen our understanding of how to develop and apply responsible AI tools for the advancement of computer, biomedical, agricultural, and ecological sciences;
- strengthen the national and international collaboration of public universities with the private sector; and
- strengthen capacities in the responsible utilization of AI in support of the most vulnerable communities in Ghana, Senegal, and the sub-region.
RAIL is currently a part of the four-year AI4D Africa partnership between the Swedish International Development Agency and IDRC to support policy, innovations and expanded leadership that will spur responsible AI development in Africa. The mission of the program is to improve the quality of life for all in Africa and beyond by partnering with Africa’s science and policy communities to leverage AI through high-quality research, responsible innovation, and strengthening talent. The Lab is also supported by GIZ, through its FAIR Forward initiative.