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ITU’s AI for Good platform to showcase how AI is advancing SDGs at AI Expo Africa 2020

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ITU Head of Strategic Engagement, Fred Werner (Image by: AI Expo Africa)

In 2015, in a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030, world leaders adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the landmark United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York.

With 10 years left to reach the SDGs, Fred Werner, Head of Strategic Engagement at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) believes it’s time to move the needle and use artificial intelligence (AI) to meet these goals by 2030.

Werner will give a keynote speech at AI Expo Africa – Africa’s largest business-focused AI, Data Science and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) trade event and conference – on how the AI for Good platform is identifying and generating practical AI applications which advance the SDGs and scale those solutions for global impact.

The ITU strongly believes AI can help solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Its AI for Good Global Summit — the leading action-oriented, global and inclusive United Nations platform on AI has since 2017, together with its community of innovators and problem solvers, identified, strategised and created new projects, roadmaps and initiatives around the use of AI to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.

In June the ITU as part of its AI for Good Webinar Series — and in partnership with AI Media Group and Alliance4ai — held a webinar that explored Africa’s varying AI strategies and how they are impacting on the continent’s economic growth. Panelists who included South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams, UNESCO-IBE director Mmantsetsa Marope and Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa director John Kamara provided regional success stories that explained the opportunities and challenges in deploying these strategies.

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“We have 10 years left to achieve the 17 SDGs and we need to act now to make this happen. AI solutions that we identify today need a few years to develop, a few more years to achieve scale and then a few years after that to achieve the desired impact. At a minimum, we are looking at a 10-year timeline, bringing us right up to 2030. We have to act now if we want a chance of moving the needle,” says Werner.

AI Expo Africa 2020 will be held online on 3 and 4 September with a speaker line up led by Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI and Machine Learning at the World Economic Forum; Neil Sahota, IBM Master Inventor, UN AI expert and lecturer at University of California, and Bayo Adekanmbi, CTO MTN Nigeria and founder of Data Science Nigeria.

South Africa’s Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams; Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg and Deputy Head of the 4IR Commission of South Africa are also set to speak at the show.

Issued by AI Expo Africa

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Lersha Showcases Innovation and Collaboration at GITEX Africa 2024

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Lersha, a one-stop digital platform, recently participated in GITEX Africa 2024, an event celebrated for its networking and exposure opportunities within the tech ecosystem. The event proved to be a platform for Lersha to engage with industry stakeholders, forge strategic partnerships, and showcase its commitment to driving innovation in Africa.

Embracing the theme of innovation and investment, Lersha navigated the vibrant tech landscape of Africa with strategic objectives and meticulous preparation. The event provided a conducive environment for Lersha to foster cross-border collaborations, exchange insights with startups, and explore investment opportunities, contributing to the advancement of African innovation.

Reflecting on the experience, Satta Abraham, Strategy and Growth Lead at Lersha, remarked, “GITEX Africa was an invaluable opportunity for us to connect with industry leaders, exchange ideas, and establish meaningful partnerships. We are excited to harness these connections to drive forward African innovation and empower communities.”

One of the highlights of the event was the productive engagement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) team. Lersha’s Strategic and Growth Lead participated in insightful discussions, exploring avenues for collaboration and growth over dinner.

Furthermore, Lersha actively contributed to the panel discussion on “Agtech for Financial Inclusion,” where its Strategy & Growth Lead shared key insights on leveraging AgTech to promote financial inclusion in Africa. This discussion underscored Lersha’s commitment to utilizing technology to address pressing challenges in the agricultural sector and enhance financial accessibility for all stakeholders.

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In addition to participating in panel discussions, Lersha showcased its digital solutions alongside other innovative startups, demonstrating its role in shaping the future of Africa’s digital landscape. From cutting-edge technology to groundbreaking ideas, reaffirming its dedication to driving positive change through innovation and collaboration.

As Lersha continues to expand its footprint in Africa, the company remains committed to leveraging technology to empower communities, drive economic growth, and foster sustainable development across the continent.

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Ark-x: Revolutionizing Tech Talent

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Ark-x is committed to accelerating the Moroccan and African tech ecosystems by ensuring the availability and competitiveness of tech talent through agile, scalable, upskilling, and reskilling solutions. This effort is part of the broader JOBINTECH project, a government-sponsored program.

Founded in 2019, Ark-x has been pivotal in addressing the disparity in access to skilled jobs in Morocco. The “Talent Factory” offers comprehensive training programs designed to transform potential candidates into job-ready professionals, ready to meet industry demands.

“Our mission is to unlock the potential of individuals and organizations through competency-based talent solutions,” said Hamza DEBBARH, Founder and CEO of Ark-x. “With advancements in AI, robotics, and IoT, it’s crucial to equip our workforce with the necessary skills to lead in this new era.”

Key Challenges Addressed:

  • Skill Gap: Rapid technological advancements have created a mismatch between available skills and industry needs.
  • Talent Shortage: Companies struggle to find qualified entry-level developers.
  • Economic Impact: Underutilization of local talent hampers economic growth and innovation.

Solutions Provided:

  • Skills-based Training: Comprehensive bootcamps focusing on in-demand tech skills.
  • Career Coaching: Workshops to enhance soft skills and job readiness.
  • Industry Partnerships: Collaborations with leading tech companies for real-world project experience.

Outcomes:

  • 1000 Careers Accelerated: With a goal to accelerate 10,000 careers by marrying scalability with adaptability.
  • 90% Placement Rate: High success rate of graduates securing positions in top tech firms.
  • 95% Recruiter Satisfaction: Achieved through a recruiter-centric approach engaging recruiters early in the program engineering phase and throughout the talent journey.
  • 89% Trainee Satisfaction: Through experiential learning, real-world problem solving, and expert coaching, delivering a transformative, individualized experience.

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Our commitment to excellence has been recognized by leading tech firms and industry experts. We are dedicated to creating a pipeline of skilled professionals who will drive the digital transformation of Morocco and Africa.

Our successful participation at GITEX AFRICA highlighted our innovative approaches and our significant impact on the tech ecosystem.

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Polymorpho, a Moroccan cyber security company shines at GITEX Africa

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Polymorpho Team (Image; Supplied).

Founded in 2022 by Moroccan entrepreneurs and cyber security experts with over 15 years of experience, Polymorpho has always been committed to defying the complexity of cyber threats through innovative and adaptive solutions for individuals, companies, governments, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement agencies to prevent and investigate cybercrime. Reda Cherqaoui, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Polymorpho, confirmed that the Moroccan cyber security company used their global expertise and know-how to launch their own venture.

Indeed, after many years of experience in France, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore, the Moroccan founders have chosen to return home and Africa to create Polymorpho, a company offering a comprehensive range of services and solutions meeting the diverse cyber security needs of each organization.

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At GITEX Africa 2024, Polymorpho demonstrated to visitors and potential partners how their constant research and development make it possible for them to be ahead of increasingly diverse and rapid attacks. Through this event bringing together all digital players from throughout Africa, the continent keeps demonstrating to the world that the future of digital innovation is being formed by extraordinary abilities. Yet in cyber security alone, the potential and improvements to be made in Africa are quite substantial.

In fact, according to the most up-to-date statistics by Nairametrics, cyberattacks against African firms increased by 20% in Q1 2024 when compared to the same time last year. While there was a 5% rise in the average number of attacks per firm globally compared to the same quarter last year, the research found that African organizations saw the most attacks compared to others. With an increasingly attacked continent, the need for effective and adaptive cyber security measures is imminent. Polymorpho is ready for the challenge with their cutting-edge services and solutions in defensive security, offensive security, and cyber intelligence.

According to the Polymorpho team, being part of Gitex Africa was a great way to meet key partners and clients in need of more adaptive and tailored solutions. Polymorpho is motivated to keep inventing and pushing the limits of traditional cyber security solutions. We are honored to represent Morocco on the global scene and to demonstrate that Africa has nothing to envy from other continents in terms of technology, innovation, and cyber intelligence.

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