On the 10th of September this year (2017), we took our first uncertain step through a doorway. For all the months prior, starting in February, we operated in the realm of imagination, of planning, of spreadsheets and budgets, driven by a mission to ‘Strengthen African Machine Learning’. Crossing the threshold that Sunday afternoon, we entered an environment that was everything we had hoped for. We had seen the creation of a new community, one united not by historical injustices, but by a shared commitment to science and learning, and the potential it has to transform our societies for the better. We executed a technical programme of sharing, teaching and debate around the state-of-the-art in modern machine learning, whose mastery is essential to realising the vision of a transformed and prosperous continent. And we saw Africans, from across the continent and in all its diversity, represented and included.
The Indaba's Outcomes and our Recommendations
Our main recommendations for the future are:
As a committee, we are more enthused and committed than ever before to our mission of strengthening African machine learning. The success of this first Indaba has given us the momentum and confidence to be more ambitious, to grow and innovate in all aspects of the Indaba’s organisation, and to create a more constant flow of activity and events. The Indaba will change rapidly over the coming years, but we are committed to seeing it become an annual event that will move to different parts of the continent and with more local leadership.
Deep Learning IndabaX
We will be working with groups from all the institutions represented at the Indaba to host their own smaller, independent Indaba-like events; details of the IndabaX events will be announced shortly.
Indaba 2018 and 2019
The Indaba will now move to a two year planning cycle. The 2018 Indaba will be in South Africa, and we are in the process of identifying the host country for the 2019 Indaba.
Expanded Committee and Advisory Board
Our committee will be expanded to have a larger representation of voices from the other countries, and to more widely share the expertise being developed through its organisation.
To achieve the aims of the Indaba, we will require ongoing support from all sectors. Please reach out to help and support us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our first Indaba has taught us much.
We now continue on our path to strengthening African machine learning.