UNDP hosts G7 Italian Presidency to discuss AI for sustainable development with African Union

UNDP convenes AU officials and the G7 Italian Presidency in Addis Ababa to discuss Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development.

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On 15 April 2024, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) hosted the G7 Italian Presidency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for high-level meetings with African Union (AU) senior officials, African Ambassadors to the AU, the European Union Special Representative to the AU, and relevant private sector stakeholders.
The UNDP-initiated discussions in Addis Ababa aimed to advance the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive sustainable development in Africa. Working in partnership with UNDP, the Italian G7 Presidency seeks to democratize computing power, promote responsible AI development, and ensure inclusive innovation and progress.

Why does it matter?

The Addis-Ababa meetings provided a platform for various perspectives and expert input, focusing on innovative strategies to harness AI for achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Africa. The event is a follow-up to the agreement reached last month at the G7 ministers summit in Verona, Italy, which highlighted the need for collaboration between G7 nations and developing countries to strengthen local AI ecosystems for sustainable development.

Matthias Naab, Director, of UNDP Africa Regional Service Centre, emphasised the joint efforts: ‘through our collaborative efforts and knowledge partnership with the G7 Presidency, we aim to empower AU Member States with the tools and frameworks for responsible AI deployment, ensuring that no one is left behind in the journey towards inclusive innovation and progress.’

Led by Vincenzo Del Monaco, G7 Industry Working Group Co-Chair, the Italian delegation also met with various AU officials, including Fathallah Sijilmassi, Director General of the African Union Commission (AUC). The Italian G7 Presidency is committed to guiding global collective action and addressing infrastructure challenges, particularly in the areas of data, compute, and AI talent. An ‘AI Hub’ is co-designed by UNDP and the Italian Presidency with partners from the tech sector, startups, and academia, to foster progress towards the SDGs. The benefits of an AI-empowered Africa are expected to have a positive impact not just within the continent but across the world.