The Status of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems in Africa - Infrastructure, Economics, Ethics, and Human Development

The Status of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems in Africa - Infrastructure, Economics, Ethics, and Human Development

Presented by IEEE Standards Association

17 April 2018
12:00 p.m. EDT

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While the capabilities of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (A/IS) are growing at a rapid pace, the question of how to best implement these technologies in Africa to the advancement of human development is often ignored. Specifics around the infrastructure and other resources depending on where various AI applications may be introduced are critical to consider. Likewise, where economic realities or cultural values are not part of design careful planning may not lead to successful outcomes.

On 17 April 2018 at 12:00 p.m. EDT, join host Moira Patterson, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) global affairs program director, along with African thought leaders Tensae Ayalew, Damola Morenikeji, Zvikomborero Murahwi and Hruy Tsegaye to get an insider's perspective on the latest innovations, developments and insights on how A/IS is developing in Africa today.



Tensae Ayalew Tensae Ayalew, Artificial Intelligence software developer, ICog-Labs

Tensae is an Artificial Intelligence software developer at ICog-Labs - a research and development company based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is also an accredited freelance Android App developer with several projects under her belt. She has attained a B.Sc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Addis Ababa Institute of Technology and is certified in several courses from top universities such as Computer Science from Harvard University and Machine Learning from Stanford University.

Damola Morenikeji Damola Morenikeji, Head of Strategy and Innovation, The Roothub

Damola Morenikeji is a social entrepreneur interested in the intersection of education, values-based leadership, technology and development, hinged on people, platforms and policies to influence the future of humanity. He leads strategy and innovation at The Roothub, a foremost idea lab and co-working community in Nigeria's Niger Delta region, and works with others to build a generation of happier flourishing Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many, through Joy, Inc. Prior to this, he had founded AllforDevelopment, contributed to policy development at various fora including the World Economic Forum on Africa and United Nations, co-conveyed the largest tech and innovation summit in Ogun State, Nigeria, and had briefly contributed to the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for public good initiative (a collaborative effort of BKCHarvard and MIT Media Lab) with the Youth and Media team at Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University where he worked on AI and Youth / AI and Inclusion with a focus on Africa and the global south in the summer of 2017. A fellow of the RSA, he shares periodic thoughts at

Zvikomborero Murahwi Zvikomborero Murahwi, ICT Strategy and Project Management Consultant

Zvikomborero Murahwi holds a BSc Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, a Masters in Project Management (with specialization in Information Systems) and is TOGAF 9 Certified. With over 25 years experience in ICT, Zviko has been a software developer and has held various Technical and Management Positions in ICT.

Currently employed full-time as a Senior Manager (ICT) in the Education and Training Sector, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Zviko also runs his own Private ICT Consulting Company. Being passionate about AI and AS, Zviko is currently actively involved in development of the IEEE P7000™ Series of Standards on AI and Autonomous Systems and Data Privacy Engineering. Previously he has participated in the development of ISO/IEC Standard 23026 - Systems and software engineering – Engineering and management of websites for systems, software, and services information and IEEE P1062™ - Recommended Practice for Software Systems Acquisition.

Locally Zviko serves on the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Technical Committees TC 0176, TC001/SC 40(for ICT Governance and Service Management) and TC001/SC 07(for Systems and Software Engineering). He is a member of the Grayston Preparatory School Board of Directors where his main responsibility is advising the School on ICT matters.

Hruy Tsegaye Hruy Tsegaye, iCog Makers Initiative

Hruy Tsegaye, a 30-year-old Ethiopian, began his professional career as a Program Officer for a governmental agency called HIV AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO). In 2013, Hruy joined as one of the founders of iCog Labs, a pioneer company in East Africa engaged in the business of R&D of AI and Robotics. After two years of researching, he launched a project called iCog Makers Initiative. The initiative is all about creating a platform for African Makers and since the concept of emerging technologies and makers is in its infancy stage [in Africa] his project aims to achieve the goal via public universities. Right now, the initiative has more than 28 partner universities from Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Hruy has also been publishing several articles focusing on AI and emerging technologies in general. His articles are published in both languages; Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language and English. His Amharic articles are mostly for local newspapers and magazines within Ethiopia while his articles in English are available online on Hplus Magazine, Medium, and on iCog Labs website. Besides that, he has co-authored a book titled “The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity”. His interest, when it comes to AI, is mainly on the question of how to harness AI in a pro-poor development bridging the crucial inequality that sickens the globe. In Ethiopia, he has been working with the country's Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in projects that involve technology transfer, rapid prototyping, and creation of platforms for a self-sufficient tech market.

Moira Patterson Moira Patterson (Moderator) Global Affairs Program Director, IEEE-SA

Moira oversees the implementation of IEEE-SA’s global strategy in different regions and various related strategic initiatives, including on standardization capacity-building and policy. She has been driving IEEE-SA’s engagements in Africa and Europe for five years, and is also responsible for managing the IEEE-SA’s adoption and cooperation agreements with standards development organizations worldwide. By promoting standards’ potential to support sustainable development, Moira contributes to IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

Moira has been with the IEEE-SA since 2007. She holds a B.A. in Political Science (Comparative Politics) from Western Washington University and an M.A. in Political Science (Comparative Politics) from McGill University.