Middle East and North Africa Hub
The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D), at the American University in Cairo’s School of Business is proud to be the Middle East and North Africa Hub ( MENA Hub) of the A+ alliance network. A2K4D is a regional hub for research investigating the role of digital technologies and innovation in promoting inclusive development, with focus on Egypt, the Arab World, and Africa. The Center’s activities are interdisciplinary, encompassing the inclusive dimensions of artificial intelligence, innovation, digital platforms, new business models, new forms of digital work, alternative knowledge governance, data governance and open data practices in the digital economy. At A2K4D we adopt a gendered lens across all our research and capacity building efforts.
The Center’s existing and growing partnerships and collaborations strategically position it to foster a sustainable MENA A+ alliance network. A2K4D is an active member of several research partnerships, including Open Data for Development (OD4D), Open African Innovation Research partnership (Open AIR), Fairwork Network, Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC), The Access to Knowledge Global Academy (A2KGA), EQUALS Research Partnership. We also work in close partnership with civil society organizations like Take Back the Tech.
As the MENA hub of the A+ alliance, A2K4D’s activities will involve knowledge creation and awareness raising about novel technologies and data for development. A2K4D will harness its local, regional and global partnerships to bring together and grow a MENA wide feminist AI network of multidisciplinary stakeholders including institutions and individuals who are passionate about how applied AI can make positive change in the region. We will host a series of webinars to synergize efforts by social scientists, economists, data scientists, techies and domain experts who are grappling with unprecedented pace of technological change against a backdrop of growing multifaceted inequalities in MENA, especially with regards to gender, knowledge creation and awareness raising about novel technologies and data for development.
Speakers: Soraj Hongladarom, Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Nadine Moawad, Nagla Rizk and Amira Salah-Ahmed.
Moderator: Nadine Weheba
Date: Wednesday, Dec 14th 2022
The first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) f<a+i>r Hub’s network meeting was held on Wednesday 14th Dec 2022 at 3.30pm Cairo local time via Zoom. The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) at the American University in Cairo, School of Business introduced the f<a+i>r Hubs Network and brought together key stakeholders in MENA in an action-oriented conversation on how new technologies such as AI can be harnessed to address MENA’s most pressing developmental problems with focus on gender inclusion.
Key issues discussed:
Speakers: Manal Jalloul and Nadine Weheba
Moderator: Nagla Rizk
Date: February 8th, 2023
The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) hosted its second webinar as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) hub of the F<a+i>r Hubs Network titled “Algorithmic Decision Making (ADM), Feminism and Inclusion in MENA: Unpacking Concepts and Call for proposals” on Wednesday February 8th via Zoom. Joining the webinar as a speaker was Dr. Manal Jalloul (Founder of AI Lab and NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, Certified Instructor and University Ambassador at the American University of Beirut). Dr. Jalloul unpacked concepts of ADM and discussed how it can be harnessed for gender inclusion in MENA. We also discussed the project’s latest call for proposals, titled: “Incubating Feminist AI: Call for Expressions of Interest Algorithmic Decision Making Systems”. The call focuses on harnessing ADM for more equitable outcomes and models deploying more effective and inclusive social protection in MENA.
Key issues discussed:
Date: August 2nd, 2023
The Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) hosted its third webinar as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) hub of the f<a+i>r Hubs Network (Feminist AI Research Network) on August 2nd, 2023. In this webinar, Aliah Yacoub, AI Philosopher and AI and head of techQualia at Synapse Analytics, discussed the connection of feminism, social justice, and AI in the region from a philosophical point of view. She also provided examples of the challenges associated with the use of applied AI in the region and the role of feminist theoretical frameworks in promoting gender equality and mitigating discrimination and biases.
Key issues discussed: