IGF 2023 WS #160 Regulating AI in Africa: Prioritizing Human Rights

Organizer 1: byaruhanga brian, Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)
Organizer 2: Innocent Adriko, Victoria University
Organizer 3: Oarabile Mudongo, 🔒
Organizer 4: Ahmed Shamira, Data Economy Policy Hub (DepHUB)

Speaker 1: Chenai Chair, Technical Community, African Group
Speaker 2: Wairagala Wakabi, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Ahmed Shamira, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Oarabile Mudongo, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 5: byaruhanga brian, Civil Society, African Group


Oarabile Mudongo, Civil Society, African Group

Online Moderator

Innocent Adriko, Civil Society, African Group


Innocent Adriko, Civil Society, African Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

How can regulatory frameworks for AI in Africa be effectively developed and implemented to safeguard human rights and promote ethical practices, considering the diverse social, cultural, and economic contexts across the continent?
How can marginalized communities be meaningfully represented in AI regulation decision-making processes, while addressing power imbalances and disparities, and effectively addressing the ethical implications of unregulated AI in the provision of social services?
What are the optimal approaches for promoting cooperation among stakeholders to develop national, regional, and continental protocols that uphold human rights and serve as a foundation for sector-specific regulation in the domain of artificial intelligence?

What will participants gain from attending this session? The primary focus of the session is to facilitate a discussion on the development of guidelines and regulatory frameworks to effectively govern AI in Africa. Participants and attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the challenges posed by unregulated AI in Africa and its implications for fundamental rights. The session will provide valuable insights into the multidimensional issues of data injustice and its impact on marginalized groups. Through collaborative discussions, participants will explore the development of a normative framework that prioritizes human rights and guides the responsible application of AI in the African context. Networking opportunities will also enable stakeholders to establish connections and foster collaborations in shaping the future of AI regulation in Africa. Ultimately, attendees will depart with new knowledge, key insights, and practical tools to contribute to the establishment of effective guidelines and regulatory frameworks for governing AI in Africa.


Combating unregulated AI in Africa: Prioritizing Human Rights and Promoting Innovation:
This panel will confront the urgent challenge of AI regulation in Africa, where a lack of oversight is exacerbating multidimensional data injustices and threatening fundamental rights such as dignity, equality, privacy, expression, access to information, and association. The discussion will center on the ethical implications of AI for access to social services, where private sector actors often prioritize profit over AI ethics. The panel will explore the impact of unregulated AI on marginalized groups, as well as the development of a normative framework as a basis for sectoral regulation and national, regional, and continental guidelines that respect human rights to guide the development of AI applications in the African context

Expected Outcomes

The session's expected outcomes include increased knowledge of unregulated AI's impact on fundamental rights, consensus on the need for a normative framework, discussions on key ethical considerations, enhanced collaboration among stakeholders, and the initiation of follow-up processes. Specific outputs may include policy recommendations, research publications, follow-up events or workshops, and collaboration networks. These outcomes will contribute to informed policy development, foster research dissemination, and provide platforms for ongoing discussions and partnerships in AI regulation, human rights, and innovation in Africa.

Hybrid Format: The session will feature a skilled facilitator who will ensure equal participation from both onsite and online attendees. Interactive discussions, including Q&A sessions, polls, breakout groups, and real-time feedback mechanisms, will be scheduled to encourage active engagement among participants. The session's design will prioritize inclusivity, ensuring accessibility through captioning, sign language interpretation, and multilingual support. Online tools/platforms such as interactive whiteboards, collaborative document editing platforms, and real-time polling software will be utilized to enhance participation and interaction, enabling remote attendees to actively contribute and engage with the session. These measures aim to create a seamless and inclusive experience, fostering meaningful dialogue and collaboration between onsite and online participants.