Deep Learning Indaba 2023 is in Accra this week


In the past decade, artificial intelligence (AI) has been cited as one of the most transformative technologies in many industries, including retail, healthcare, banking and finance, agriculture, education, public administration, and many more. Like many innovations, Africa usually needs to catch up in leveraging and benefitting from emerging technologies.

As such, the Deep Learning Indaba (DLI) is one of several organisations working tirelessly to bridge that gap regarding machine learning and artificial intelligence in Africa. For 2023, DLI’s flagship gathering of Africa’s machine learning and artificial intelligence enthusiasts, dubbed the Indaba, will take place in Ghana!

The Indaba will occur from September 3–9 at the Cedi Conference Center, University of Ghana – Legon. In addition to several sponsors, the 2023 Indaba is hosted by the Department of Economics, University of Ghana in partnership with AIMS Ghana. We’re very excited and fortunate that Ghana is continuing the vital work of leading conversations about ML and AI in Africa.

At this juncture, you might be asking: what is the Deep Learning Indaba? Let me tell you a bit more about it. An indaba is a Zulu word for a gathering or meeting. The Deep Learning Indaba is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to strengthen machine learning and artificial intelligence in Africa by building communities, creating leadership, and recognising African innovators’ research and application excellence. They execute their mission through the annual Deep Learning Indaba, the IndabaX (which hosts machine learning and artificial intelligence meetings in African countries) and research awards.

Since 2017, the DLI has been pursuing its mission of strengthening African ML and AI in a unique way. For instance, in terms of building communities, the DLI has supported various IndabaX events in almost every African country, including Ghana. Since 2019, Ghana has benefitted from the IndabaX initiative with four different IndabaX events sponsored by the DLI.

Participants were treated with keynote addresses, workshops, hands-on training, research expos, and networking during these events. The IndabaX Ghana has impacted over a thousand students, researchers and professionals in Data Management, Analytics, Machine Learning, and AI in Ghana. To learn more about IndabaX events in Ghana, please check out their official webpage at

The previous annual Indabas took place in Johannesburg (2017), Stellenbosh (2018), Nairobi (2019) and Tunis (2022). This year,it is Ghana’s turn to take centre-stage in discussions about machine learning and artificial intelligence by hosting the Indaba. The 2023 Indaba in Ghana is bringing top African researchers and their research partners worldwide to discuss the benefits, applications and potential risks of machine learning and artificial intelligence to Africa.

The programme will be a full week of delightful events covering keynotes, workshops, and hands-on tutorials in emerging fields such as Computer Vision, NLP and Large Language Models (the technology used by the popular ChatGPT), Robotics, and many more. There will be multiple days of Africa research showcase, where various African datasets and research projects done for the good of Africa by Africans will be showcased.

The theme of the event is ‘Yɛbɛtumi’, which is an Akan expression for ‘we can’. This is an appropriate and timely reminder of the immense potential for the African continent to embrace and continue its leadership of research and innovation in the ML and AI ecosystem. Since we’re all congregating in Ghana, it is apropos to recall Kwame Nkrumah’s famous admonition that “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of Africa”.

The Indaba epitomises this ideal because the organisation is rooted in building communities across the continent. Indeed, Africa will only reap the full potential of machine learning and artificial intelligence when we all work together and share ideas to help one another grow and achieve their full potential. Fundamentally, this is the mission of the Indaba: Strengthening African Machine Learning.

This year’s Indaba organisation is led by three General Chairs – Delali Agbenyegah from Ghana (Senior Data Science Lead at Shopify), Avishkar Boobchand from South Africa (Machine Learning Engineer, Google DeepMind) and Amal Rannen-Triki from Tunisia (Machine Learning Engineer, Google DeepMind).

The local organising committee is led by Augustine Denteh from Ghana (Assistant Professor, Tulane University), and the local partnership committee is led by Prof. Bernadin Senadza (Associate Professor, University of Ghana). The General Chairs lead an amazing steering committee of hardworking Africans across the continent and the rest of the world who devote their time to the planning and execution of the mission of the Deep Learning Indaba. We say to all organisers and everyone involved, ‘Ayekoo’!

Notable speakers for the 2023 Indaba include Dr. Ayorkor Korsah, Head of Computer Science and Information Systems at Ashesi University; Timnit Gebru, Founder and Executive Director, Distributed AI Research Institute; Rahul Dodhia, Deputy Director, AI for Social Good Research Lab, Microsoft; Hugo Larochelle, Research Scientist at Google; Rosanne Liu, Research Scientist at Google and Co-Founder & Executive Director at ML Collective; and many more! You can also see the full line-up of the 2023 Indaba here:

The Deep Learning Indaba 2023 is proudly sponsored by Google, Apple, GoogleDeepMind, Hopper-Dean Family Foundation, OpenAI,  InstaDeep, Lelapa AI, The Rockefeller Foundation, Zindi, Schmidt Futures,  IDRC.CRDI, Mozilla, Mila, Fair Forward, giz, Limpopo, Neural Information Processing Systems, DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Mathematical and Statistical Sciences,  Distributed AI Research Institute, JP Morgan Chase &Co, Eramet, KPI Mining Solutions, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, NVIDIA, Data Scientist Network, The MIT Press , and many more.

To all attending the 2023 Indaba, we say ‘Akwaaba’, ‘Woezor’, ‘Wɔŋhele nyɛ atuu kɛba Ghana’, and ‘Amaraaba Ghana’. We are excited to see you in Ghana. We hope you will also explore Ghana, especially its fabulous and spicy cuisine!

>>>Delali Agbenyegah, Snr. Data Science Lead, Shopify and Co-Founder, Wave-2 Analytics and Ghana Data Science Summit. Augustine Denteh, Ph. D, Assistant Professor of Economics, Tulane University, Co-Founder – Ghana Data Science Summit

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