Ecosystem Strengthening as a Catalyst for International Collaborative Development of Emerging Digital Technologies and X-Data Applications Tackling Socio-Economic Challenges in Kenya and South Africa

Data, currently being generated at an exponential growth rate, coupled with Emerging Digital Technologies (EDT) have the ability to identify patterns, build explanatory models, and make predictions faster and more accurately than humans. EDT applications using AI and blockchain-based algorithms are being used to address seemingly intractable problems. These algorithms, mainly created in the developed countries, often lack transparency thereby limiting full exploitation of the potential for EDT/X-Data-based applications to address socio-economic challenges in developing countries. X-Data collectively refers to four overlapping data categories: big data, open data, user-generated data, and real-time data. Reaping full benefits from EDT in developing countries, where new forms of digital divide between them and developed countries are evolving, requires supportive systems for X-Data. Although the access gap to technology is narrowing, gaps on social integration and impact of technology are increasing. Further, barriers persist in the use and uptake of X-Data by decision-makers.

Focusing on Kenya and South Africa (SA), this project shall develop a deep understanding of the EDT/X-Data ecosystems; build capacity and support networking of researchers, entrepreneurs, decision-makers and policy-makers; and support multi-disciplinary teams to develop EDT/X-Data based applications.

Project Start Date: January 1, 2023. Project End Date: December 31, 2023


EDT Ecosystem Maturity in Kenya and South Africa

Determine the states of maturity, challenges, and opportunities in EDT innovation ecosystems in Kenya and South Africa


Support for locally developed/adapted algorithms to create proof-of-concept applications that address development challenges using existing data sets.


Awareness Training and Networking for Researchers and Innovators

Addressing issues to consider when developing EDT/X-Data-based applications for socio-economic development.

Awareness Training and Networking for Policy-Makers and Funders

Addresses the benefits of and some of the challenges faced when using EDT/X-Data-based applications.

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