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New AI association in SA to drive education and innovation

Zindi chief executive and advisory board member of SAAIA, Celina Lee. Photo: Supplied
Zindi chief executive and advisory board member of SAAIA, Celina Lee. Photo: Supplied

Zindi, one of the co-founding members of the South African Artificial Intelligence Association (SAAIA), is taking a proactive step towards promoting AI education and re-skilling in South Africa.

The launch of SAAIA aims to encourage stakeholders to embrace AI as a crucial tool for education and social impact, with the potential to elevate economic growth, trade, investment, equality, and inclusivity in the country and across the continent.

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The founding advisory board of SAAIA comprises notable entities such as Michalsons and Webber Wentzel law firms, the Western Cape government, Tshwane University of Technology, the Technology Innovation Agency, and various AI start-ups, including Zindi.

Dr Nick Bradshaw, co-founder of AI Media Africa and a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience in enterprise collaboration software and cloud platforms, joins Zindi as a co-founder of SAAIA.

Highlighting the transformative potential of AI, Bradshaw explains, “AI Media Africa’s research has shown AI and related automation technologies impact over 120 traditional industries globally.”

The vision of SAAIA is to guide stakeholders in leveraging AI to achieve socio-economic development, regulation, economic growth, trade, investment, fairness, equality, and inclusivity in the AI space.

SAAIA has garnered support from renowned South African institutions and international development organisations like GIZ, the German Agency for International Cooperation. This broad coalition of members underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in harnessing AI’s benefits for South Africa and the entire continent.

Zindi chief executive and advisory board member of SAAIA, Celina Lee, emphasises the adoption of responsible AI as crucial for maintaining the integrity of South Africa’s economic development and the uplifting of its people.

With the introduction of SAAIA, the aim is to bring together Zindi’s community of 65 000 data scientists from over 50 countries on the continent, along with numerous groups, societies, businesses, and partner organisations working in the AI space. This collaborative approach will facilitate the discovery of new ways of working and drive the advancement of the AI sector in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Individuals interested in joining SAAIA can become members free of charge, granting them access to resources, insights, and news throughout the year. Moreover, members will benefit from a discount on AI Expo tickets scheduled to take place in November 2023. Further information can be found at

To commemorate the formal launch of SAAIA, Zindi ambassadors will celebrate at an event in Pretoria on the Wednesday, 19 July 2023. This occasion will bring together key stakeholders and enthusiasts from the AI community to mark the beginning of a new era of AI development and collaboration in South Africa.

With the establishment of SAAIA and its focus on AI education, responsible adoption, and inclusivity, South Africa is poised to leverage the potential of AI to drive societal progress, economic growth, and increased opportunities for all.

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