The AfricAI conference provided a wealth of specific knowledge across various domains. I was particularly enthused by the presentations given by the Lacuna awardees, who generously shared the datasets they had collected. The diverse methodologies showcased by different groups were incredibly enlightening.
A significant focus of the conference revolved around designing ethical frameworks for research in Africa, with a strong emphasis on involving a wide range of stakeholders. I was captivated by the progress made by AI researchers in Africa, particularly in developing applications for agriculture and climate-related challenges.
I also gained a profound understanding of the importance of collaboration among stakeholders with diverse knowledge bases to foster sustainable solutions in Africa. Among other sessions I attended were"AI for Climate Action in Africa," "Lacuna Fund Datasets, UseCases, and Sustainability," and "Applied Responsible Artificial Intelligence for Advancing Sustainable Intensification of Smallholder Farming through Digital Innovation," all of which provided invaluable insights.The conference offered an abundance of valuable content, leaving me with the desire to be in multiple places at once. This leads me to my final point.
The presentations delivered by my fellow Meta bursaries researchers and the networking opportunities with researchers from Research ICTAfrica provided a wealth of knowledge. Research spanned a wide range of topics, including the intersection of migration and AI, techniques for ensuring data security, and the importance of considering stakeholders' perspectives when developing AI tools. These interactions significantly expanded my understanding and opened potential research collaborations within my area of expertise. The conference not only provided a platform for exchanging knowledge but also facilitated meaningful connections with fellow researchers.