Accepted Paper:

Artificial intelligence, digital platforms and the transformation of manufacturing in Africa: case studies from the Cortex Group and Zindi Africa/Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa  

Authors:

Wim Naudé (Cork University Business School, University College Cork)
Jacques Ludik (Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa Cortex Group)

Paper long abstract:

This paper will present (1) an overview of the recent resurgence in manufacturing in Africa and the role of new technologies, in particular digitization and digital platforms (there are currently more than 300 digital platforms operating in Africa); (2) the spread and adoption of artificial intelligence applications in Africa, in particular in manufacturing; and centrally (3) lessons for manufacturing platforms from the current establishment of digital platforms in healthcare, trading, and agriculture financing by the Cortex Group, a South African-based company that increasingly operates across the continent. Finally, given the importance of skills development and recruitment of AI skills in African industry, the presentation will present a case study of the Zindi Africa - Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) partnership. Given that Zindi Africa is the first data science competition platform in Africa the aim would be to illustrate the potential of such platforms to facilitate solutions needed by African manufacturers. The presentation will conclude by making recommendations for strengthening the support infrastructure of data science and data-driven entrepreneurship on the continent, which are crucial for the functioning of the digital platform economy.

Panel F38
Artificial intelligence and smart manufacturing in Africa [initiated by RWTH Aachen University, Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, SA and the N. Mandela Institute of Technology, Tanzania]