[New Video & Audio Podcast] The Current & Future State of AI In Africa: Insights From The African AI Pioneers Panel At AMLD Africa 2024.

On the 28th of February 2024, the AMLD Africa 2024 event took place at USIU – Africa, bringing together some of the continent’s most innovative minds in the field of artificial intelligence or AI. During the same, I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion titled “African AI Pioneers: Charting the Course for Innovation and Impact” which explored the transformative potential of AI in Africa. During the same, we had an engaging and highly insightful discussion that not only outlined the current state of AI in Africa but also paved the way for a future brimming with promise and possibilities.

Our panelists were as follows:

Darlington Akogo, Founder and CEO, minoHealth AI Labs.
Vukosi Marivate, Co-Founder/CTO, Lelapa AI. Co-founder, Deep Learning Indaba. Co-founder, Masakhane
Alfred Ongere, Team lead and Founder, AI Kenya

Discussion Highlights.

The conversation set the stage for an in-depth exploration of the challenges and opportunities presented by AI innovation on the African continent. Each panelist brought to the table their unique perspectives and expertise, shedding light on diverse aspects of AI’s role in Africa’s future.

Darlington Akogo elaborated on AI’s potential to revolutionize healthcare in Africa, emphasizing radiology’s pivotal role. He stressed the importance of addressing the stark funding disparities faced by African AI startups compared to their Western counterparts, advocating for tailored solutions that meet Africa’s unique healthcare challenges.

Vukosi Marivate spoke passionately about advancing NLP to support low-resource African languages, making a compelling case for “language as infrastructure” to foster unity and inclusivity. His insights into Lelapa AI’s mission highlighted a dedicated effort to cater specifically to African needs, while also touching upon the critical issue of brain drain and the necessity of nurturing local talent and research communities through initiatives like the Deep Learning Indaba.

Alfred Ongere emphasized the importance of building AI capacity and fostering a thriving ecosystem within Kenya and across Africa. He highlighted Ai Kenya’s focus areas and the impactful outcomes of AI evangelism, calling for enhanced collaboration among innovators, policymakers, and investors to drive sustainable development.

Throughout the discussion, ethical considerations, inclusivity, and the need for a collaborative framework were highlighted as vital components in ensuring that AI benefits all segments of African society.


In closing, our panel reaffirmed AI’s transformative potential for Africa. They highlighted the critical areas of healthcare, agriculture, language processing, and capacity building as mere starting points for the African continent’s AI journey. The vision shared by the panelists for an AI-enabled future that reflects Africa’s diverse needs and aspirations captures the opportunities and challenges for all stakeholders to play their part in making this a reality.

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Listen To The Audio Podcast Below:

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