How Data Science Can Solve Africa’s Problems at Science Summit UNGA 77


Organisations like Zindi and Masakhane are providing an entire generation of aspiring Africans with the tools and opportunities they need to prosper.

September 23rd 2022, Cape Town, South Africa // Proudly Pan-African, the start-up Zindi, is the biggest network for professional data scientists in Africa and will be holding a session at the 8th edition of the UN Science Summitunder the theme of Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times, during the week of the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) held in New York, USA.

On the 26th of September, the Zindi session, The grassroots revolution driving data science in Africa, hosted by Zindi CEO and co-founder, Celina Lee, is scheduled at 14:00 SAST (08:00 EST). This is a first time at the Science Summit UNGA for Zindi. Joining the panel, South African, Jade Abbott, the co-founder of Masakhane, leading initiative in natural language processing in Africa; and Reem Elmahdi, Zindi ambassador and data science community leader.

The panel will provide some use cases on how data science is learned and practised in Africa. Community-driven open-source data science and machine learning may be better than a top-down approach to address Africa’s unique challenges. Zindi supports the UN SDGs specifically, access to quality education and promotes sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

The role and contribution of science to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the central theme of the UN Science Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs.

“Demand for data science and data engineering skills is exploding,and communities across Africa are collaborating to fill the gaps left by government and academia in developing talent and solutions to meet this demand. Organisations like Zindi and Masakhane are providingan entire generation of aspiring young people with the tools and opportunities they need to get ahead in a rapidly changing and highly competitive field,” says Celina, co-founder Zindi

Zindi was established in Cape Town in 2018, with the aim of making data science and artificial intelligence (AI) skills accessible to companies on the African continent. With a network of over 48 000 data scientists registered on the platform, from 160+ countries around the world, Zindi helps data practitioners of all levels access tutorials and mentors to build their practical skills, and virtually participate in data science competitions. Zindi platform connects with a broader community of practice matching skillset with opportunities.

“It is critical that modern businesses take an active role in supporting their existing workforces through reskilling and upskilling, that individuals take a pro-active approach to their own lifelong learning, and that governments create an enabling environment to facilitate this workforce transformation. This is the key challenge of our time, and itis an honour for Zindi to be joining eminent scientists, innovative thinkers and policy/ decision makers from across the globe at the Science Summit,” Celina Lee, CEO Zindi

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