Africa's AI initiative

Scroll Down


Advances in AI and its application in Africa has the potential to drive innovation in industry and shape the societal landscape of tomorrow. While Africa was largely absent from the Internet Revolution there is now a growing realisation of the importance of technology in building societal prosperity.

With growth in learning and communication, and with several strong and internationally competitive universities there is substantial interest in AI from faculty and students in the region.

Yet the region has not expanded fast enough to fully realise the opportunities presented and there is now a rapidly growing need for talent, infrastructure and funding to support innovation. To move beyond the hype and be competitive with the substantial accumulation of resources in North America and more recently in Asia, requires efforts on a magnitude far greater than any previous spanning academia and industry. 

This has led to the formation of Cirrus, to bring about a step change in the research and application of AI in the region.

Cooperation program

Supporting interdisciplinary cooperation spanning academia and industry around the world, boosting the application of AI technologies and ensuring the transformative potential benefits the region.

State-of-the-art computing infrastructure

Supported by teams of hardware, software, machine learning and data engineers. Bringing together engineering teams, researchers, computing infrastructure and extensive scientific instrumentation to enable a step change in research efforts of academia and industry in the region.

Open Learning

Ensuring inclusive participation, the dissemination of knowledge and ideas, and the development of the next generation of African AI researchers.

Cirrus FOUNDRY and Cirrus FOUNDRY Fund

To bridge the “Valley of Death” and overcome the challenge of turning a start-up idea or scientific research into large-scale commercial application.


Cirrus was publicly launched on the 4th of September 2019 at AI Expo Africa. Below please find the presentation and media kit used in the launch and a two page handout.

Launch presentation

Download here

Media kit

Download here


Download here


We welcome participation and encourage you to reach out to Dr. Roy Forbes at Wits University who is coordinating engagements.

Where To Find Us

School of Chemistry
(Humphrey Raikes Building)
University of the Witwatersrand
Jorissen Street
South Africa

Follow Us