Technology is driving rapid changes in the economic, cultural and personal spheres of life, and to business models and citizen experience. This is culminating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There are a proliferation of unexplored, high potential AI techniques which could be used to address African development challenges across government, health, industry, and civil society. There are key knowledge gaps around AI development in Africa which could help to unlock this potential.

Dynamic leadership and creativity is needed to link cutting edge AI techniques and algorithms to innovative applications for the African context, with global relevance. Credible African experts need to be more involved in the global discourse around AI. AIRU uses a combination of research, innovation and influence to build foundational capabilities for AI in South Africa, as a key driver of the Department of Science and Innovation’s Decadal Plan. This creates an enabling environment for high quality, relevant AI research and solutions, with the goal of positioning Africa as an AI hub globally.

Key achievements since the establishment of AIRU

Key African research knowledge gaps addressed through the publication of peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles.

Strengthened, representative pipeline of skilled AI researchers and practitioners through our honours, masters and PhD programs.

Improved strategic leadership and support of AI research in Africa through the establishment of the CAIR network with 10 member research institutes and the Southern African Conference for AI Research (SACAIR).

Increased visibility of African AI research internationally through international conference presentations, hosting international conferences and events, and selection for prestigious international fellowships.

Our impact in numbers

since our inception in 2021

Peer-reviewed publications