The rapid advancement of AI in Africa introduced urgent challenges, particularly the need to develop this technology in ways that were both responsible and culturally congruent with the continent’s diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Major challenges included ensuring inclusivity in AI development, addressing disparities in technology access and aligning AI strategies with local identities and values. The AI4D Africa programme, supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), was committed to responsibly shaping AI’s integration within Sub-Saharan Africa’s diverse contexts. It wanted to develop foresight capabilities to set a long-term agenda for AI that respected and integrated African identities and aspirations of young people.


SOIF led the AI4D Africa programme, embedding foresight into discussions surrounding AI development to cultivate an inclusive vision for AI in sub-Saharan Africa. The futures project involved four researchers from the Next Generation Foresight Practitioners (NGFP) Africa Network, integrating their local insights to ensure the project’s outcomes resonated with the aspirations of young Africans.

The project’s methodology unfolded in several phases. It started with a literature review and horizon scanning to identify key trends and stakeholders, setting the foundation for the futures and foresight processes that followed. These processes were aimed at deepening the understanding of AI’s potential impact and developing future scenarios for AI in Africa.

Next was the participatory futures process, which included both virtual and in-person workshops in Dakar. These workshops engaged a broad group of stakeholders in the AI4D programme in shaping potential futures and the drafting of strategic roadmaps for AI development.

The final phase concentrated on assessing the broader sectoral implications and actively engaging the African AI ecosystem, ensuring that the foresight activities translated into practical steps and actions.


The project developed four alternative scenarios to guide strategic planning for AI in Africa over the next 25 years. We also created a vision to transform Africa through inclusive and responsible AI, promoting futures where technological advancement aligns with regional values and priorities. This vision was supported by strategic roadmaps and a detailed timeline from 2024 to 2035, which outline key steps. Additionally, we compiled recommendations for policymakers, technical experts and economists to support sustainable AI development. The initiative enhanced participants’ foresight capabilities, equipping them with skills to apply these insights in their policy and planning roles and to proactively engage with future opportunities and challenges in AI across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“A transformed Africa that is healthy and peaceful through inclusive and responsible AI.” 

This is the collective vision for AI4D that embodies the hopes, aspirations and desires of the participants.