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Ethiopia poised to ride the wave of artificial intelligence progress

There’s a wave of artificial intelligence sweeping through Ethiopia and it’s causing disruption among futurists in Sheba Valley.

Getnet Assefa, who wants to use cutting-edge technology to solve the world’s day-to-day problems. Picture: Primedia

There’s a wave of artificial intelligence (AI) sweeping through Ethiopia and it’s causing excitement among futurists in Sheba Valley – the leading hub for AI technology on the continent.

On her journey through the Horn of Africa for Standard Bank's Africa Connected campaign, Lee Kasumba sat down with iCog Labs’ Getnet Assefa – the founder of the first AI lab in Ethiopia to discuss his vision.

Cluttered with the makings of what could be Ethiopia’s high-tech workforce, iCog Labs is not exactly the famine-stricken Ethiopia that exist in the minds of Westerners.

We must use advanced technology to solve African problems, radically.

Getnet Assefa, founder and chief executive officer - iCog Labs

In fact, the prototype of the world’s first (and, most famous) robot citizen Sophia was partly developed in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa before it was released to Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics.

Driven by its founder’s passion, the start-up is determined to use cutting-edge technology to solve the world’s day-to-day problems. But, like most start-ups within emerging countries, iCog Labs has received little support from its government as well as, potential investors.

Who’s going to connect the innovators and financial systems?

Getnet Assefa, founder and chief executive officer - iCog Labs

Click here to read more from the Digitisation for Good archive.

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Click here to access the Africa Connected portal or click below to watch Lee Kasumba's full interview with Getnet Assefa.