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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE | Rwanda to Host Inaugural AI Summit in 2024 as it Leads the AI Agenda in Africa

Rwanda’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), in cooperation with the World Economic Forum (WEF), will hold a high-level AI summit in Africa near the end of 2024.


“The event’s primary goal will be to align African countries on common risks, barriers, and opportunities, and, ultimately, devise a unified strategy for AI in Africa,” said Paula Ingabire, the Rwanda Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation.

“Africa’s youthful workforce is uniquely positioned to be a strategic asset in the global AI agenda and can fuel tremendous growth for our economies,” she added.


The Minister, who spoke in Davos, Switzerland during the WEF Annual Meeting, said Rwanda’s involvement in the AI Governance Alliance of the WEF, under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, aims to guarantee that the nation and the continent play an active role, rather than merely catching up, in shaping the future of artificial intelligence.

At #wef24 in Davos, UAE Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution and Rwanda Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution signed a Memorandum of Understanding, activating The C4IR AI Fellowship Program. @c4ir_rw @Rwanda @RwandaICT @MusoniPaula @DubaiFuture

— Rwanda Mission in UAE (@RwandaInUAE) January 19, 2024

Under the theme, ‘AI and Africa’s Demographic Dividend: Reimagining Economic Opportunities for Africa’s Workforce,’ the summit aims to align African countries on common risks, barriers, and opportunities and devise a unified strategy for AI in Africa. It will convene government and business leaders as well as experts from academia and civil society.

The Africa summit seeks to address one of the key priorities of AI Governance Alliance (AIGA); to ensure equitable distribution and enhanced access to AI, starting by convening thought leaders in geographic and economic areas that need more representation as highlighted in the AIGA briefing papers launched during the WEF 2024 session held in Davos, Switzerland.

The summit further extends the efforts of C4IR Rwanda in the realm of AI policy and ethical guidelines. This includes active support for the Government of Rwanda in the formulation of its National AI Policy which was officially introduced in 2023.

Rwanda, which also operates the Kigali International Financial Center, aims to leverage the upcoming summit to enhance comprehension of how AI can effectively tackle the distinct challenges and opportunities faced by African countries, with a specific focus on issues related to access and inclusion.


“C4IR Rwanda is excited to host this landmark event on AI in Africa. It is timely that we have focused discussions rooted in the socio-economic and cultural contexts of the continent, and recognize the distinct opportunities for Africa to gain a competitive advantage.

We look forward to welcoming leaders to Kigali later this year [2024] as we lay the foundation for an equitable and sustainable future, where the benefits of AI are shared, the risks are mitigated, and Africa’s economic potential is realized,” said Crystal Rugege, the Managing Director of C4IR Rwanda.



About C4IR Rwanda

C4IR Rwanda, one of 19 centres worldwide that comprise the WEF Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network, was established in 2020 and focuses on AI and data governance.

As the only centre currently in Africa, C4IR Rwanda also serves as a convener for AI initiatives on the continent. It seeks to use the upcoming summit to deepen understanding of how AI can address African countries’ unique challenges and opportunities, particularly around access and inclusion.




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