Mustapha Zaouini, President of AI Africa, gave an interview to Maroc Diplomatique in which he shared his vision of entrepreneurship in Africa and the importance of highlighting local solutions. We had the honor to chat with him and gather his inspiring ideas on the development of the continent’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In his remarks, Mr. Zaouini highlights the emerging entrepreneurial potential in Africa, with a growing number of young people carrying innovative ideas. According to him, African entrepreneurship is a real strength, particularly in terms of solutions focused on local needs. It highlights the values, languages and cultures that make Africa rich and explains that it is through these specificities that real opportunities are created for entrepreneurs.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is also discussed in the interview. Mr. Zaouini recognizes that competition with large international platforms requires significant investments. However, he emphasizes that AI can be used in a locally relevant way by focusing on localization, solving local problems and using available resources. According to him, this is how African entrepreneurship can stand out and offer solutions as effective as those developed in San Francisco, London or Paris.-
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AI Africa’s approach is distinguished by its emphasis on humans at the center of AI. Mr. Zaouini explains that their methodology is based on design and problem identification, with an orientation towards young people aged 15 to 18. These young people are encouraged to work on projects that aim to solve local societal problems, under the supervision of teachers who become facilitators. This collaborative approach also involves parents and businesses to create a complete team and encourage the development of solutions tailored to the needs of the local community.
AI Africa seeks to transform schools and mindsets by encouraging growth-oriented thinking. Programs complementary to traditional education are put in place, including hybrid online training and collaborative projects. Mr. Zaouini emphasizes the importance of global access to information, particularly in disadvantaged rural areas, to enable all stakeholders to fully participate in this digital transformation.