AfOx Insaka

The Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx) Insaka is a gathering for sharing ideas and knowledge about Africa-focused research. AfOx invites speakers from varied disciplines and academic backgrounds to present their work and ideas, followed by discussions and networking. You can watch our previous Insakas here.


AfOx is hosting an Insaka on May 3rd, 2023, from 5:30-7:00 PM UK time at the Founders Room, Said Business School, University of Oxford. The event will also be live-streamed on the AfOx YouTube Channel.


Building the African AI We Want

Africa's rich linguistic diversity is a unique strength that can be leveraged to advance Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. However, limited access to high-quality annotated data, computational infrastructure and skills presents a significant challenge to developing AI models for African languages. This talk will discuss how the Data Science for Social Impact Lab at the University of Pretoria is working to improve resources, tools, and methods for African languages through collaborations with local communities and organizations across the continent. Our approach involves creating inclusive environments where researchers, developers, educators, policymakers, activists and other key stakeholders can come together to co-create innovative solutions to complex problems facing society. Our goal is to empower individuals and organizations to harness the power of AI to address critical issues such as education, healthcare and financial inclusion while preserving cultural heritage. Finally, this talk will provide insights into the current state of affairs regarding African language model development efforts and outline future steps needed to build the African AI ecosystem envisioned by many experts in the field.

Professor Vukosi Marivate holds the position of Associate Professor of Computer Science and is the ABSA Chair of Data Science at the University of Pretoria.
Transnational Indigeneity: Settler-Colonial Violence, Displacement, and Inter-generational Trauma

Documenting and validating Indigenous Peoples collective experiences with colonial violence, land dispossession, forced displacement, systemic racism, and ongoing exclusion from the nation-building process is fundamental to the idealised Westphalian state. The invisibility of Indigenous and colonised bodies is affirmed in the Peace of Westphalia, 1648 and the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, 1933. The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (European Refugee Convention), 1951 make no mention of Indigenous Peoples prosecuted and forcibly displaced by slavery, systemic colonial violence, and neoliberal capitalism. Although the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), 2007 does not define who an Indigenous person is, it stipulates their right to belong and determine their own identity. The Eurocentricity and geographical confinement of the European Refugee Convention reflect the conceptual ideology of birth of the modern nation-state. This philosophy also harbours the homogeneity of settler-colonial violence, ethnic cleansing, dispossession-reclaiming colonised lands, white supremacy, and the oppressive rule of white men’s law. These impacts are directly linked to intergenerational trauma of transnational Indigenous Peoples compelled to migrate due to slavery, imperialism, colonization, and neoliberal capitalism. The research examines post-modern (forced) migration law to understand the survivorship, resistance, life history, and agency of displaced (Black African) transnational Indigenous Peoples in charting the path they want to transform social change. The inquiry is informed by my identity and lived experience as an Indigenous Liberian migrant woman to Ghana, Canada. England, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States.

Professor Veronica Fynn Bruey, celebrated for her numerous accolades and role as an associate professor at Athabasca University.