ECA set to launch Africa’s first AI Research Centre in Brazzaville Congo, with focus on technology and innovation

  • On February 24, 2022, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the Government of the Republic of Congo will inaugurate 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 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.
    The Centre will be officially launched by UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ECA, Vera Songwe, and H.E. Anatole Collinet Makossa, Prime Minister of Congo under the auspices of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The event will be attended by African ministers responsible for ICT and the digital economy.
    With the involvement and full support of the Government of the Republic of Congo, the Centre, 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.
    A partnership agreement to develop the project was signed in March 2021 by the Republic of the Congo and ECA during the official opening ceremony of the 7th session of the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.  The UN partners include, The United Nations 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. With Agenda 2063 as the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future. The AI Centre is a new dynamic to Africa’s participation in the global value chain. With global companies choosing to locate in regional hubs there’s potential for businesses investing in the AI Centre’s ecosystems to benefit from strong government support, low business costs, and access to world-class AI clusters.
    The AI Centre has a clear vision to work together with multiple stakeholders establishing linkages for a collaborative environment between industry, institutions, government, public and private sectors. The working pillars of the centre strategically include various engagement areas -the provision of state-of-the-art AI research facilities, collaboration with top ranked universities in Africa, building a network of highly skilled researchers and providing support and training to support citizens in becoming scholars, researchers, leaders and engaged citizens required to deliver digital transformation in our society.
    The African Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence is now established in the DENIS SASSOU-N’GUESSO University of Kintélé, which is recognized as a platform for business analysis on the continent. The AI Centre offers hybrid modes of training on the areas of AI and robotics for researchers, youths and interested citizens. It also provides basic AI and Robotics skill-oriented training for talented elementary and senior school students. The pursuit of a Masters of Science Degree in Artificial Intelligence and data science in collaboration with the University of Dennis Sassou Nguesso is available at the AI Centre.
    With the aim to increase the number of STEAM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) graduates and to join the ranks of the world’s highest educated workforce, the depth and quality of AI’s Centre program content is remarkable. As part of 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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