Digital Transformations Director Discusses AI Innovations at AI Forum in Morocco

Talla Ndiaye, Director of DPA’s Just Digital Transformations Program, recently attended the “High Level Forum on Artificial Intelligence: A Lever for Development in Africa“. This innovative and timely event, held from June 3-5, 2024 in Rabat, Morocco, was organized by Ai Movement of UM6P – University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in partnership with UNESCO. It served as a dynamic platform for exploring how AI can drive transformative development across Africa.

AI and the Promotion of Democracy for Peace and Development in Africa

On June 4th, Talla took part in a session titled “Fireside Chat 3: AI and the Promotion of Democracy for Peace and Development in Africa”. This insightful discussion delved into the ways AI can be harnessed to enhance democratic processes, promote peace, and drive sustainable development across the continent. During the conference, Talla highlighted DPA’s recent work on data, AI and democracy in Africa, including the following projects:

Feasibility Study for the Establishment of a Category 2 Center under the Auspices of UNESCO on AI (2022-2023)

DPA conducted a comprehensive feasibility study for the establishment of a Category 2 Center Under the Auspices of UNESCO on Artificial Intelligence. The methodology involved three steps:
  • Identification of key documents and stakeholders through gathering all relevant documents from UNESCO, the Center, and the Moroccan National Commission for UNESCO.
  • Data collection and analysis were performed, including literature reviews, interviews with key informants, a site visit to the center in Rabat, benchmarking against other Category 2 centers, and a thorough evaluation of the collected data.
  • The final report presented the study’s results and included recommendations. It also provided content elements for a possible agreement between the Center and UNESCO, based on document 40C/79, and draft agenda items and agreements for UNESCO’s Executive Board.

National Data Strategies for Senegal and Ghana (2023-2024)

DPA, in collaboration with Smart Africa and GIZ and federal ministries (i.e. the Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy in Senegal, and the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation through the Data Protection Commission in Ghana), has been instrumental in shaping the National Data Strategies for Ghana and Senegal, focusing on creating secure and enabling environments for data infrastructure and utilization.

  • Senegal National Data Strategy

The objectives of this Senegal-based project included providing stakeholders with insights into public policies and tools for developing the data industry, building on existing continental efforts, such as AU policies and sectoral norms. Additionally, Senegal’s current data landscape was assessed to identify strengths, weaknesses, and needs in data storage, processing architectures, and professional profiles to formulate policy recommendations. Finally, a report was produced with actionable recommendations to guide the development of Senegal’s National Data Strategy, fostering cross-border trade and collaboration on data within Africa.

  • Ghana National Data Strategy

The objective of this Ghana-based initiative, currently under development, is to define guidelines for establishing an enabling and secure environment to develop both basic and economy-specific infrastructure and facilitate access to public data. Additionally, considerations for the safe and lawful sharing of data and trust mechanisms for the public and private sectors are vital aspects of the work.

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Identifying Intervention Points to Tackle Disinformation in Senegal and Burkina Faso (2022-2023)

DPA developed a comprehensive ecosystem approach to address the multifaceted nature of disinformation in two West African countries. Recognizing the need to examine disinformation beyond social media, the methodology considered the interconnected networks of online influencers, traditional media, and groups weaponizing (dis)information for socio-political purposes. We also investigated the underlying economic, political, and social motivations driving the weaponization of disinformation by powerful groups or individuals, and allowing false or inaccurate narratives to be anchored in society. This approach enabled pinpointing the most effective intervention points within the (dis)information cycle in Senegal and Burkina Faso, providing valuable insights and recommendations, particularly concerning the role of bilateral aid agencies.

Participation in the “High-Level Forum on Artificial Intelligence” and the completion of significant projects, including the UNESCO Feasibility Study and the National Data Strategies for Ghana and Senegal, underscore our organization’s commitment to leveraging digital transformations and new technologies for development and democracy. These initiatives are pivotal steps towards harnessing the power of AI and data to drive sustainable growth, development and information integrity across Africa.

To learn more about DPA’s work under the Just Digital Transformations Program and the Technology and Democracy Program, click below:


Project Report

Stratégie Nationale des Données du Sénégal – Résumé

En 2023, DPA a fourni un soutien technique à l’élaboration de la

Project Report

Community-Based Social Protection Mechanisms in Africa’s Borderlands – Liberia and Sierra Leone Case Study

The report on “Community-based social protection mechanisms in Africa’s borderlands – Liberia

Book Chapter

Book Chapter “AI for SDGs—and Beyond? Towards a Human AI Culture for Development and Democracy”

Artificial intelligence (AI) can contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals