UNECA Set To Launch Africa’s First AI Research Center In Brazzaville, Congo

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The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on Wednesday announced that it is set to launch Africa’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Centre in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo.

Africa’s first AI Research Center, which will be inaugurated this week by the UNECA and the government of the Republic of Congo, is a groundbreaking centre devoted exclusively to advancing research through artificial intelligence to advance digital technology in Africa in areas of digital policy, infrastructure, finance, skills, digital platforms and entrepreneurship, the UNECA announced Wednesday.

The African Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence, funded through the ECA and other partners, will provide the necessary technology education and skills to promote Africa’s integration, contributing to generate inclusive economic growth, stimulate job creation, break the digital divide, and eradicate poverty for the continent’s socio-economic development and ensure Africa’s ownership of modern tools of digital management, it was noted.

“The center will be the first of its kind in Africa, and it will provide a regional hub for the development of emerging technologies in the region,” the UNECA said.

A partnership agreement to develop the project was signed in March 2021 by the Republic of the Congo and UNECA during the official opening ceremony of the 7th session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.

The international partners involved in the realization of the center include the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UNESCO, the International Telecommunications Union, Alibaba Jack Ma Foundation and other key ECA partners.

“Congo will serve as a regional AI hub across the continent to give access to the deepest and highest quality pool of AI talent,” the UNECA said.

With Agenda 2063 as the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, the AI Center is said to serve as a new dynamic to Africa’s participation in the global value chain.

The center offers hybrid modes of training on the areas of AI and robotics for researchers, youths and interested citizens.

It will further provide basic AI and robotics skill-oriented training for talented elementary and senior school students. The pursuit of a Masters of Science Degree in AI and data science in collaboration with the University of Denis Sassou Nguesso is available at the AI Center.

In line with the growing global digital and knowledge economy, the ECA works towards enabling countries to promote, adopt new and emerging technologies and promote digital skills in order to deliver the transformation of their economies.

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