Mapping AI in the MENA Region

By Jordan Open Source Association

The MENA AI landscape appears to be vibrant, with many entities catalyzing smart technologies for digital transformation. Moreover, AI is predicted to have a considerable impact on the region’s economy, across all sectors and labour market, fueling $320 billion in the next decade.

At present however, a scarce amount of sources exist on what constitutes the AI MENA landscape. There have been efforts to bring together the pan-Arab AI community in conferences such as the Arab AI Summit hosted in Jordan in 2019, the Arab IOT and AI Challenge hosted in Egypt. But details about key players and entities, policies and research that revolve around AI are sparsely documented. In order to fully exploit the potential of existing capacities and understand gaps in practices, it is essential to map this ecosystem.

While this is not meant to be an exhaustive map, we do aim to capture essential data to encourage future work. We hope this snapshot will be a first step from which we can foster a stronger understanding of how AI is being leveraged in the region.

This report is a publication of the Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA) and was made possible by the contribution of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The research and writing was conducted by Qusai Suwan and Raya Sharbain.

Research report is only available in English.

Data is available here: https://github.com/jordanopensource/ai-mena-mapping

Publication Date:

27 May 2021

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