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Prominent Figures Unite to Address AI in South Africa




South Africa has taken a significant step in promoting responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption for the benefit of its citizens by establishing the South African Artificial Intelligence Association (SAAIA). This new association aims to drive economic growth, trade, investment, equality, and inclusivity by utilising AI technologies as reported by BusinessTech.

The founding Advisory Board of SAAIA consists of representatives from various organisations, reflecting a diverse range of expertise. These organisations include Michalsons, GIZ, ExploreAI, Cirrus AI, TinyML Foundation, Augmented Startups, Data Economy Policy Hub (DepHUB), Socially Acceptable, mLab, Zindi, Technology Innovation Agency, ecosystem.Ai, Tshwane University of Technology, Western Cape Government, and Webber Wentzel.

SAAIA is dedicated to engaging individuals and organisations, whether they are novices or experts, connected to ensure that no one is left behind. The association emphasises making AI opportunities accessible and available to all.

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To fulfil its mission, SAAIA has outlined ten key objectives:


Serve as the industry’s voice.

  • Provide analysis and research to inform strategy and decision-making.
  • Assist in policy-making for national, provincial, and city governments.
  • Facilitate the collaboration between buyers and suppliers to stimulate economic growth.
  • Connect small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) with funding opportunities to create new companies and jobs.
  • Attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to South Africa as the gateway to Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
  • Support African smart tech companies in expanding their reach to international markets.
  • Showcase the best of South African AI innovation and research.
  • Foster discussions on inclusion, ethics, regulation, and standards.
  • Share best practices and educational resources with all stakeholders.
  • Dr Nick Bradshaw, the founder of SAAIA, highlighted the transformative impact of AI and related automation technologies, rapidly reshaping over 120 traditional industries globally. He emphasised that this disruption’s speed surpasses any previous industrial revolution.

SAAIA encourages stakeholders to adopt responsible AI practices that promote commercial and societal benefits while prioritising regulation, economic growth, trade, investment, fairness, equality, and inclusivity.

Membership in SAAIA is free for individuals, granting access to valuable resources, insights, and news throughout the year. Members also receive discounted rates to participate in the association’s annual event, AI Expo Africa, scheduled in Johannesburg from November 2nd to 3rd at the Sandton Convention Centre.

SAAIA will be launching formally and commencing a roadshow series, commencing in Pretoria on July 19th, to engage with stakeholders and promote the association’s mission and objectives.

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Photo: Facebook / @BusinessTech

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