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African AI Policymaking

PAN is a partner on initiatives supporting AI policy formulation and implementation including the African Observatory on Responsible AI and the Africa-Asia AI Policymakers Network.

African Observatory on Responsible AI

Established in 2022, the African Observatory on Responsible Artificial Intelligence (the African Observatory) has recognised the need to promote African voices, experiences and value systems in global debate around responsible AI. Scholars in the social sciences and humanities are emphasising that an ‘African’ view on AI and AI ethics is critical for ensuring that the development and adoption of these new technologies  supports, and is not harmful to, African societies and ways of living. The African Observatory takes a special focus on the foundational elements of inclusive and responsible AI governance, particularly as it relates to Africa’s (pre/post) colonial memory and in the context of our diverse democratic, constitutional and legal mechanisms of accountability.

A key part of the Observatory project is the Policy & Governance Map which aggregates AI-relevant policy activity across all African countries and by regional bodies.

Africa-Asia AI Policymakers Network

PAN is part of the ongoing Network task force which organised and presented at sessions at the AfricAI conference in Rwanda during June 2023. A summary of the conference and Network meeting is available here. This was the second in-person meeting of the Network, with the first taking place in Cape Town in March 2022. Network members have contributed to the design of the Observatorythe Policy & Governance Map as a shared resource for the community.

The HSRC has also initiated a AI Policymaker Network Journal Club as an ongoing, virtual activity to discuss emerging technology developments and governance responses to AI. As of May 2024, the Journal Club meetings have covered the following topics:

  • Regulation of large language models (LLMs)
  • AI and regulatory sandboxes
  • Comparative analysis of AI strategies
  • Competition authorities in AI


Photo by Shalom Mwenesi on Unsplash