Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
6 December 2019
Egypt Hosts AU Working Group on AI First Session

The first session of the African Union (AU) Working Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) was held in Cairo, on December 3-4. The session discussed attaining the Group’s objectives including crafting an African strategy for AI and reaching a unified African position on AI, following Egypt’s initial proposal in this field.

The session also discussed a number of topics, on top of which was Artificial Intelligence (AI) position in Africa, the efforts and plans for AI in some Member States. This is in addition to discussing the efforts exerted by non-governmental sectors in this field, given its vital role in Africa; as well as reviewing key international initiatives in this area.

Furthermore, the session delved into the efforts and visions of Ethiopia, Cameroon, Uganda, Algeria and Egypt in this field, with the aim to exchange expertise. It also discussed a number of mechanisms that support AI in Africa, such as the AI observatory and the readiness indicator. This is in addition to the procedural aspects of the Group work including the expected outcomes, the criteria for selecting news members of the group and the possible participation of the private sector, the civil society and academic bodies in this system.

The session outcomes included the agreement on making human development and training topics a top priority for the Group and for the national agenda of African countries. This is achieved through providing a framework for capacity building in this area in Africa, as the relevant joint African projects were discussed.

Moreover, the session determined Africa's priorities on AI issues, representing the key points of the strategy; as well as the priorities of the African agenda for using AI to overcome development obstacles and challenges.

The session was attended by the ICT Minister’s Advisor for Artificial Intelligence (AI) Golestan Radwan, and representatives of the International Relations sector at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

The Group was founded as per a resolution of the ministerial meeting of the AU Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Communication and ICT, chaired by Egypt, held in Sharm El Sheikh in October, given the importance of AI in Africa. The Group encompasses experts from eight countries: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Uganda.

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