Draft of SIAIA-23 program is shared below.

AAAI-23 Technical Program

Speakers and Panelists (in-progress)

Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
Lead Panelist

Dr. Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, a Cameroonian scientist, holds a PhD in Public Communication from Laval University, Canada. With a focus on decolonial studies and critical approaches to development, his research interests include digital humanities, the 4th industrial revolution, digital technologies and particularly artificial intelligence for the common good. Dr. Thomas Mboa is currently Researcher in Residence at the International Centre of Expertise In Montreal on Artificial Intelligence (CEIMIA), where his main mission is to put in place mechanisms to ensure a better inclusion and representation of Africa in the international ecosystem of Artificial Intelligence. To its record, Thomas Mboa has several publications and major communications; you can learn more about him here.

Paving the Development of Responsible AI Applications in Africa : A Community-based Approach of Data Governance.  

The Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) is an organization that brings together 29 governments and around 150 leading AI experts to advance the responsible use, development and deployment of AI towards shared global challenges. GPAI experts collaborate across four working groups on the themes of responsible AI, data governance, future of work, and innovation and commercialization. The GPAI operates through two centres of excellence, one in Paris and the other in Montreal, the CEIMIA (International Centre of expertise in Montreal on Artificial Intelligence). CEIMIA supports two of GPAI working groups, the responsible AI working group and the data governance working group. 

The mission of the Responsible use of AI working group is to “foster and contribute to the responsible development, use and governance of human-centred AI systems. While, the data governance working group aims to “collate evidence, shape research, undertake applied AI projects and provide expertise on data governance, to promote data for AI being collected, used, shared, archived and deleted in ways that are consistent with human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, economic growth, and societal benefit. From the work done by CEIMIA, I will discuss the necessity in Sub-Saharan Africa, to promote the safe, fair and equitable sharing of data and empower individuals and communities to enact their data rights, enabling an environment of trust for the development of responsible AI applications, in the service of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Ima Okonny


Ima, the Chief Data Officer at Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), has over 23 years of experience in the field of data.


She has extensive experience with building the evidence base through the development of analytical databases and tools, implementing departmental data reporting and release strategies, data management, data privacy protocols and with forward-looking policy development and research.


Ima has an educational background in Mathematics, Computer Programming and Public Management and during her time with the Government of Canada, she has received several nominations and awards for her leadership and results.


She is passionate about helping organizations develop the capabilities required to ethically and intentionally unleash concrete business value from data.






Ima, la dirigeante principale des données à Emploi et Développement social Canada (EDSC), a plus de 23 ans d’expérience dans le domaine des données.


Elle a acquis une vaste expérience en matière de développement de données probantes, que ce soit pour le développement de bases de données analytiques ou la création d’outils analytiques, la mise en œuvre de stratégies ministérielles de communication et de diffusion des données, la gestion des données, les protocoles de confidentialité des données, ainsi que l'élaboration de politiques et de recherches prospectives.


Ima a une formation en mathématiques, en programmation informatique et en gestion publique. Durant sa carrière au gouvernement du Canada, elle a reçu des multiples nominations et prix pour son leadership et ses réalisations.


Elle est passionnée par le fait d'aider les organisations à développer les capacités requises pour produire de manière éthique et intentionnelle une valeur ajoutée et concrète à partir des données.

Key considerations for the adoption and implementing of AI: Leveraging data for empowerment


Data powers Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and with the growing adoption of AI the potential impact on society is profound. 

This presentation will discuss key considerations and opportunities for the intentional use of data in enabling a human-centric approach to the design, development, and deployment of AI in Africa.  

Amandine Robin


Dr Amandine Robin is an innovation strategist with a unique blend of expertise combining innovation and research, entrepreneurship and academy, and with 20 years experience in complex interdisciplinary projects. 

Passionate about education and transmission, Amandine co-founded AI in Africa in 2019, an NPO which aims to empower the youth to be change makers and solve society problems.  She is also the founder and managing director of MATTERS (since 2015), a strategic innovation lab, with a strong focus on pedagogical innovation and digital education. Amandine is also the Vice President of the French Tech South Africa.

Prior to starting MATTERS, Amandine has worked as a lecturer and researcher in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science for over 15 years in France and South Africa (University of the Witwatersrand). She holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics (Paris University).


Dr Amandine Robin est stratégiste de l'innovation avec un mélange d'expertises uniques alliant innovation et recherche, entrepreneuriat et académie, et 20 ans d'expérience pour la résolution de problèmes interdisciplinaires complexes. 

Passionnée par l'éducation et la transmission, Amandine a co-fondé AI in Africa en 2019 en Afrique du Sud, une organisation a but non-lucratif qui vise à faire de la jeunesse des acteurs du changement et résoudre des problèmes sociétaux. Elle est aussi fondatrice et directrice de MATTERS (depuis 2015), un laboratoire d'innovation stratégique, avec un focus particulier sur l'innovation pédagogique et l'éducation digitale. Amandine est aussi Vice-Présidente de la French Tech South Africa. 

Avant de démarrer MATTERS, Amandine a travaillé comme enseignant-chercheur en Mathématiques Appliquées en France et en Afrique du Sud. Elle a un Doctorat en Mathématiques Appliquées de l'université Paris Descartes.

Breaking the cycle: how prepared is African youth to solve Africa’s problems?

Africa will be home to more than a quarter of the world’s under-25s by 2030, which will make up almost 60% of its total population. This results in a larger workforce that the continent can leverage to drive economic inclusion and growth. Given that

- the youth is predominantly unemployed (South Africa has recorded the highest rate with 75% of young people under 25 unemployed), 

- the education system ranks significantly below the global average, 

- there is a devastating drop-out rate in the South African education system with 42-56% (2018 Statistics SA)

- the Fourth Industrial Revolution will result in major disruptions in terms of labour markets and skills requirements,

How can we empower students durably with the most relevant skills to meet the needs of a fast-changing job market? 

The workforce of the future will present many opportunities, provided that we manage to action a massive shift in skills, education and mindset.

At AI in Africa, our goal is to inspire a new generation of change makers and give them the means they need to shape the future of Africa. bridge the gap in education by exposing young minds to digital technologies and valuable skills for the workplace. 

By exposing learners to 21st century skills using a non-traditional and innovative approach to instruction, project-based learning, we believe we can boost learner’s confidence, operate a minset change and bridge the gap in education and to match the needs of the workplace. 

Beyond coding and AI, we tailor holistic programs to empower students to identify the most pressing problems in their community. After all, aren’t they in the best position to break the cycle and make the most critical impact? 

The bootcamps we ran for 520 young girls in 6 different townships across South Africa resulted in the identification of 76 AI-based solutions addressing social issues. The impact we managed to create through these bootcamps confirmed that a combination of AI and Design thinking trainings were very powerful to boost students’ confidence and mindset, to open up new horizons and enable them to drive the change by tackling some of the biggest social challenges of the continent.

Our aim is to create a stimulating self-feeding ecosystem that empowers learners to think critically and creatively and establish early links with corporates. In this ecosystem, students are empowered durably with the most relevant skills for the corporate world and empowered internally to proactively transmit the skills to the new comers as mentors.

Uyi Stewart


Dr. Uyi Stewart is a trailblazing expert in data science as a technology with over 25 years of experience. Currently, he is the Chief Data & Technology Officer at - a nonprofit organization that seeks to democratize and reimagine the use of data to tackle society’s greatest challenges and improve lives across the globe. Prior to joining, he was executive director, Data Science, Technical Operations, Seagen Inc., Seattle, USA, focusing on the digitalization of biologics data to accelerate the development of transformative cancer drugs. Previously, Uyi served as an executive director at AI Commons, a non-profit focused on democratizing access to AI in emerging markets. Prior to that he was a director of global development’s strategy, data and analytics at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, centralizing the use of data to fight disease, poverty, and inequity. Prior to that, he was also a Distinguished Engineer, co-founder and Chief Scientist, at IBM Research – Africa, where he pioneered the use of big data to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Uyi holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics (McGill University) and MPhil (Cambridge University). He has 15 patents, has authored 65 publications, and has been involved in the implementation of hundreds of innovative digital solutions across Africa, Asia, and the USA.

A New Kind of Data Scientist for Equitable, Inclusive, and Impact-driven Data Solutions

Data is an essential tool to help solve important global problems like climate change, healthcare disparities, food insecurity, humanitarian emergency response, lack of financial inclusion, and systemic discrimination in all its forms. To unleash the power of data and data science globally, especially across the social impact sector in Low-Medium-Income Communities (LMICs), we must advance how we identify, cultivate, support, and retain diverse data practitioners across the value chain. There is a persistent workforce shortage, with equally persistent barriers that exclude women and people of color from the field. envisions a world in which people everywhere can use data science to solve society’s greatest challenges and improve lives around the globe. In this talk, I will outline how is working to ensure there is a level playing field for global innovation where data and data science solutions deployed across a range of communities are designed by and with people whose perspectives reflect that diversity and are developed by those closest to the problems being solved.

Peter Brusilovsky


Peter Brusilovsky is a Professor of Information Science and  Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburgh, where he directs Personalized Adaptive Web Systems (PAWS) lab. Peter has been working  in the field of personalized learning, student and user modeling, recommender systems, and intelligent user interfaces for over 30 years. He published numerous  papers and edited books on adaptive hypermedia, and the adaptive Web, and social information access.  He is a recipient of Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, and Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair.  Peter served as  the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE  Transactions on Learning Technologies, and a program chair for several conferences including RecSys 2019.  He is currently serving as the Chair of ACM SIGWEB and a board member of several  journals including User Modeling and User Adapted Interaction, ACM Transactions on Social Competing and International Journal of AI in Education.  His current interests are focused on user-centered intelligent  systems in the areas of adaptive learning, recommender systems, and personalized health.

Personalized Learning: Expanding the Social Impact of AI

The use of AI in Education could be traced to the early days of AI.  While the publicity associated with the most recent wave of AI applications rarely mentions education, it is through the improvement in education AI could achieve an impressive social impact. In particular, the AI ability to personalize the learning process could make a large difference in a context where learners' knowledge could be radically different from learner to learner. Modern computer and internet technologies can now bring the power of learning in the forms of MOOCs, online textbooks, and zoom courses truly worldwide. Yet, without personalization, the potential of these technologies is not fully leveraged. In this talk, I will review several generations of research on personalized learning and discuss tools, technologies, and infrastructures for personalized learning that we are currently exploring.