AfOx Insaka 3rd May 2024

Building the African AI We want-Prof Vukosi Marivate

Africa’s rich linguistic diversity is a unique strength that can be leveraged to advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. However, limited access to high-quality annotated data, computational infrastructure and skills presents a significant challenge to developing AI models for African languages. This talk will discuss how the Data Science for Social Impact Lab at the University of Pretoria is working to improve resources, tools, and methods for African languages through collaborations with local communities and organizations across the continent. Our approach involves creating inclusive environments where researchers, developers, educators, policymakers, activists and other key stakeholders can come together to co-create innovative solutions to complex problems facing society. Our goal is to empower individuals and organizations to harness the power of AI to address critical issues such as education, healthcare and financial inclusion while preserving cultural heritage.

Settler-Colonial Violence, Displacement, and Inter-Inter-generational Trauma-Professor Veronica Fynn Bruey

Documenting Indigenous Peoples’ experiences with colonialism, land loss, displacement, racism, and exclusion is crucial for understanding the formation of modern states. Historical agreements like the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the Montevideo Convention (1933) ignored the plight of Indigenous Peoples, as did the 1951 Refugee Convention. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP, 2007), while not defining “Indigenous,” recognizes their rights, challenging the Eurocentric, nation-state ideology that overlooks colonial violence and systemic racism. This analysis, informed by my journey as an Indigenous Liberian migrant through Ghana, Canada, England, Switzerland, Australia, and the USA, explores the intergenerational trauma and resilience of Indigenous Peoples forced into migration by slavery, imperialism, and neoliberal capitalism. It aims to understand their survival, resistance, and agency in seeking social change.