In 2024, Mozilla and its partners will fund higher education initiatives in South Africa that support the global movement for responsible computing
(SOUTH AFRICA | JANUARY 18, 2024) -- In 2024, Mozilla will expand the Responsible Computing Challenge (RCC) to South Africa, bringing a human-centered approach to technology education to students across the country. Applications are expected to open in May.
With its own history of activism against Apartheid oppression, inequity, and injustice, South Africa is ideally placed to reimagine how the next generation of technologists should be educated. The country has one of the largest and most diversified economies on the continent, with an advanced and fast-growing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Despite this, youth unemployment remains extraordinarily high, while demand for ICT skills far outmatches supply.
RCC will address these issues by supporting university faculty, students, and community organizations working to build a healthier tech ecosystem, and grappling with emerging technologies like AI. Informed by learnings from Mozilla’s $75 million of trustworthy AI grantmaking around the globe, RCC in South Africa will:
- Provide grant support for faculty at an inclusive mix of higher education institutions to integrate ethics, social impact, and interdisciplinary awareness into computing curricula, with a particular focus on AI and 4IR priorities
- Support community building, including student organizations and civil society groups that are working to build a healthier tech ecosystem
- Create student career opportunities that translate ethical training into practice
Says Dr. Ziyaad Bhorat, Mozilla RCC lead in the U.S. and South Africa: “We cannot build responsible, trustworthy AI without African communities. South Africa’s post-Apartheid experience reminds us that the long struggle for justice is far from over, and that it is no less relevant in the world of technology. We are excited to uplift, elevate, and celebrate the voices that are not simply seeking to train the next generation of technologists, but also reimagine what that looks like when we demand that tech be oriented around global justice, social impact, and equity.”
We are excited to uplift, elevate, and celebrate the voices that are not simply seeking to train the next generation of technologists, but also reimagine what that looks like when we demand that tech be oriented around global justice, social impact, and equity
Dr. Ziyaad Bhorat, Mozilla RCC lead in the U.S. and South Africa
Mozilla’s RCC work is supported by USAID, the Omidyar Network, Schmidt Futures, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Mellon Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund. South Africa will join a global RCC community that includes the U.S., Kenya and India. The expansion follows other significant investments by Mozilla in the country and on the continent, including Mozilla Ventures’ recent investment in Johannesburg-based Lelapa AI and Mozilla’s Africa Innovation Mradi.
To join the RCC mailing list and / or find out more about this initiative, please contact Jaselle Edward-Gill at [email protected].