ARCAI has launched an artificial intelligence research center in Brazzaville

Inaugurated by the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, ARCAI, at the end of February, a brand new research center dedicated to artificial intelligence has been installed on the campus of Kintelli University in the country’s capital, Brazzaville. The center aims to be funded by the ECA (Economic Commission for Africa) and its partners. ” Enabling the African people to benefit from the Industrial Revolution. Access to training that will bridge the digital divide will boost inclusive economic growth and ensure that Africa adopts modern digital tools.

The installation and implementation of AI is part of the development agenda of a growing segment of African countries. A number of continental-level initiatives have emerged, including the African Infrastructure Development Program (PIDA) and the African Union Commission’s Global Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa.

The development of digital infrastructure and services in the health, agriculture, education and trade sectors and the elimination of digital divisions will enable Africa to benefit from the potential for digital transformation.

ARCAI, Pan-African Center of the Congo

ARCAI’s goal is to stimulate training in AI but also to support research as well as infrastructure, digital policy and funding growth.

In terms of education, it will offer Masters programs in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, among other things.

The head of the ECA’s technology and innovation department, Macter Seck, said in an interview with franceinfo Africa:

“We have created the LMD (Bachelor-Master-Doctorate) content which will be offered from next year in collaboration with Sassou N’Guesso University. The center is significantly equipped with an e-learning platform that can accommodate up to 10,000 students at a time. Face-to-face courses will also be available for private sector actors and the government A

Research dedicated to agriculture, health, industry and the environment will be able to begin this month with the arrival of high-powered computers “Data Structuring” That is needed “Powerful machine”.

Mactar Seck franceinfo tells Africa:

“The online course has already started. We expect researchers from Africa but from all continents. A partnership is being established with several universities working in the field of artificial intelligence in Africa and Europe, the United States and England. A

Large companies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Google also do not deny being partners with the center.

Macter Sec added:

“We must first master this technology that not only makes it possible to fight poverty, it also creates a lot of jobs and adds value for young people across the continent. Contribution to GDP is crucial. A

The bridge of digital division

Although African countries are apprehensive about the financial benefits that AI can bring to their economies, such as Rwanda which recently opened a CAI4R center dedicated to artificial intelligence and built its Internet network, the majority of the African population, especially in rural areas, lacks access to the Internet. Says he can’t afford it or his subscription. In the Congo, prices have also risen significantly in 2021.

Speaking at the inauguration of ARCAI, ECA Executive Secretary Vera Sanway said:

“The government needs to provide high-speed, fast, affordable and reliable internet to facilitate much-needed digital transformation. A

Julie Ono, executive director of the NGO Internet Without Borders, added:

“I am sharing Vera Sanway’s concerns: before we talk about artificial intelligence, we must talk about the cost of Internet access. This represents a very large part of the budget of the average African citizen. According to the latest figures from the Alliance for Affordable Internet, Africans spend 5% of their monthly budgets on accessing 1GB of internet, compared to the average of 2% set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). A

Invest more in AI research

During the inauguration, Julie Ono thanked the Congolese government for its support in helping to build the center, which is for her. ” An important step towards innovation and job creation in Africa “ But he added that:

“There are some countries that have been prioritizing artificial intelligence research for years and investing billions of dollars. Let’s try to get out of the hype – we read a lot about it in the areas of connectivity, internet, digital and digital in Africa – and the real resources are in research, in the development of the latter, in the formation of engineers and in the formation of mathematics. A

By creating this center, Congo aims to become a major regional hub for the development of emerging technologies.

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