Celebrating Women’s Month in South Africa & Female Thought AI Leaders at AI Expo Africa 2021

Every year, in August, South Africa marks Women’s Month, where we pay tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women.


This year marks 65 years since the watershed 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings. The year 2021 also marks the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, which created a platform for greater gender equality.

This year’s commemoration will be held under the theme: “The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Realising Women’s Rights”. Ensuring and protecting rights for all has been a constant struggle for government and our social partners, as we battle the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.  The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our nation and her people in countless ways. What was initially a health crisis has impacted the economy, health, education, food security and gender equality.

Women also face the second pandemic of gender-based violence, as well as the economic impacts of COVID-19, and the recent civil unrest which engulfed KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.  Women’s Month allows us to gauge how far we have come in transforming society, particularly the transformation of unequal power relations between women and men. While also focusing on and addressing gender oppression, patriarchy, sexism, racism, ageism, structural oppression, and creating a conducive environment which enables women to take control of their lives.

Learn more here >> https://www.gov.za/WomensMonth2021

Growing diversity & inclusivity (D&I) in the AI Expo Africa Community 

With over 5000+ community members, AI Expo Africa is the largest business and trade focused community of its kind in the region. We pride ourselves on the diverse mix of local AND global AI / 4IR thought leaders, pioneering African business practitioners and regional innovators that make our event, media and content so rich and meaningful.

We strive for inclusivity and diversity that transcends the continent of Africa AND showcases the newest, unheard of start-ups breaking through into the market.  As such our programmes and content welcome world leading keynote speakers as well as young engineers just starting out on their 4IR journey, and everyone in between.

We also have a proactive focus on women in AI and run a partner and young engineer talent programme that ensures we give those that cannot afford to come to a world leading event like AI Expo Africa the opportunity to join by offering free workshop tickets to foster learning / networking opportunities and experience what an industry event “looks and feels” like. This initiative was extended in 2020 and now again in 2021 to include FREE access to the entire show archive via a FREE on-demand event for 30 days.

Learn more about our D&I achievements here >> https://aiexpoafrica.com/diversity_inclusivity/

Celebrating our female speakers & thought leaders at AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE

This year we are extremely proud to welcome Telkom as our corporate social responsibility (CSR) partner who are supporting us to develop and grow 3 key pillars of of our CSR / D&I programme, namely;

  1. Academic R&D / Industry Integration – Via the Telkom Innovation Wall (University R&D Poster Presentation)
  2. AI4Good – Our programme to showcase societal and “for good” uses of AI / 4IR tech in Africa
  3. 4IR4Her – Our programme to showcase female focused tech start-ups, innovators and thought leaders in Africa

Telkom’s ongoing innovation focus has seen the organisation training and hiring dozens of data scientists across its operations, applying the power of data to solve organisational and societal problems – revolutionising efficiencies at the telco, and boosting the services it can offer clients.

Telkom stated, “Women data scientists are in the vanguard of this drive, bringing their skills to bear on the diversified company’s innovative, digital-first focus.  The data science revolution has also been an opportunity to drive Telkom’s Female Leadership Development Programme (FLDP), creating opportunities for dozens of women across the organisation with wide experience across adjacent sectors.”

In line with our previous 3 annual community events, programme development and speaking agenda we have an inspiring and diverse line-up of local, regional and global female AI thought leaders from both start-up, SME and global corporates.  AI Expo Africa 2021 is no exception, and even with the ongoing challenges of COVID19, our online / on-demand event has an impressive female contingent on the speaking, poster and vendor programme.

AI Expo Africa 2021 – Inspiring local, regional and global female AI thought leaders

Talks and programme line-up from our female thought leaders and speakers 

  • #UnbiasedAlgorithimsMatter – Shandukani – Nthai – CEO and Founder – AfricanNova – South Africa
  • Responsible AI practices – A comparative analysis between Africa and Europe – Elena Gabriela – Ardelean – CEO & Founder – AI 4 Development Agency (AI4DA) – Austria
  • Machine Learning as part of Everyday Life – Veliswa Boya – Senior Developer Advocate – Amazon Web Services – South Africa
  • Brazilian AI Strategy – Eliana Emediato de Azambuja – General Coordinator of Digital Transformation – Secretariat of Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation – Brazil
  • AI for social good: Creating the future! – Hajar Mousannif Cadi Ayyad University – Morocco
  • Autonomous Self-Learning AI: Redefining Enterprise Security – Mariana – Pereira – Director of Email Security – Darktrace – United Kingdom
  • New Era of “AI-Enabling” in Manufacturing Sector: AutoML & No Coding – Samar- Hamdy Co-Founder & Business Development Director – DevisionX – Egypt
  • The future of transcription and translation services in Africa – Esther Hoogstad – CEO – Enlabeler – Netherlands
  • AI in Production: Tools and Tips for Successful AI Deployments – Monica – Livingston – AI Solutions and Sales Director – Intel Corporation – United States
  • Understanding Health Facility Readiness to Optimize Health Resources through AI-driven Striata in Sierra Leone – Ashley Schmidt – Senior Program Manager – Macro-Eyes – USA
  • Adapting your business and workforce to “The new way of work” – one chat(bot) at a time – Leanne – Viviers – CEO & Founder – Mintor – South Africa
  • NIST Artificial Intelligence Efforts – Elham Tabassi – Chief of Staff, Information Technology Laboratory – National Institute of Standards and Technology – USA
  • Harnessing the virtual realm for successful artificial intelligence – Alison B Lowndes – Senior Scientist, Global AI – NVIDIA – UK
  • Nvidia Jetson AI: Enabling intelligence beyond cloud – Wei Xiao – AI in Emerging Areas – NVIDIA – USA
  • Intelligent Document Processing – the automation accelerator – Tholang Mathopa – Founder – RPA Nuggets – South Africa
  • Human Centred Intelligent Automation – Atenkosi Ngubevana – Group Executive: Digital Process Re-engeneering – Vodacom – South Africa
  • Society 5.0 and beyond: Project GenZAI in the Moonshot R&D Project towards 2050 – Toshie Takahashi – Professor – Waseda University – Japan

Join AI Expo Africa 2021 Online

AI Expo Africa Press & Media enquiries – enquiries@aiexpoafrica.com