Mozilla Festival House: Kenya to explore local approaches to AI, data governance; event will take place September 21 - 22, 2023 at Nairobi’s Shamba House Cafe.

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(NAIROBI, KENYA | SEPTEMBER 11, 2023) -- The first-ever Mozilla Festival House: Kenya will feature keynote speaker and Facebook whistleblower Daniel Motaung, along with dozens of sessions exploring AI’s impact in Eastern and Southern Africa. Browse the live schedule of sessions here.

MozFest House: Kenya will debut September 21 and 22 at Nairobi’s Shamba House Cafe. The event will address challenges and explore solutions to issues like digital extractivism; governing AI systems and the datasets that train them; and building AI for Africans, by Africans. MozFest House events, e.g. MozFest House: Amsterdam, are regional adaptations of the popular annual the Mozilla Festival, and explores trustworthy AI and internet health from local perspectives.

MozFest House: Kenya will deepen Mozilla’s ongoing work in the region. Earlier this year, Mozilla expanded the Responsible Computing Challenge to eight Kenyan universities, helping bridge the gap between computer science and the social sciences; this work is led by Mozilla Fellow Dr. Chao Mbogho. The Responsible Computing Challenge will expand to South Africa and Ghana next year. Mozilla Common Voice continues to build open-source voice data sets for Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda — and to fund people and organizations building local tools with this data. Mozilla’s broader Africa Mradi continues to support local entreprenuers, developers, startups and students building innovations and products that address local issues as well as funding research at the intersection of social justice and technology which enhance tech accountability across the region.

MozFest House: Kenya tickets are sold out, but much of the event will be live-streamed online via LinkedIn or at the MozFest Plaza. Participants can also join and engage in our Dialogues and Debates Watch Parties and exclusive Q&A with some of our speakers on Discord.

Says Chenai Chair, Senior Program Officer, Africa Innovation Mradi: “MozFest House Kenya is an unapologetic regional convening to speak truth to power around digital safety, digital rights, tech accountability, and overall, trustworthy AI in Africa. The festival is the premier gathering for activists, artists, technologists, and educators in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane and healthier digital world.”

Says Roselyn Odoyo, Senior Program Officer (Kenya): “Often times, digital rights have been purported to appear as non-fundamental or disconnected from people’s realities. This is an opportunity to connect people with communities that are furthering digital rights and uplift those movements.”

MozFest House: Kenya programming announced today includes:

  • Keynote speaker and Facebook whistleblower Daniel Motaung. Daniel Motaung knows all too well the breadth and depth of Meta’s content moderation problems: A former Facebook content moderator based in Kenya, Motaung blew the whistle in 2022 for poor, unfair, and unlawful conditions. He also sued Meta for worker exploitation, neglect, and union busting. Motaung will be speaking at MozFest House Kenya on Thursday, September 21 at 11 a.m. local time. The keynote will be streamed live on LinkedIn and the Mozilla Festival plaza.
  • 30+ sessions at the intersection of AI and digital rights in Africa. MozFest events are known for their deep, interactive sessions — and MozFest House: Kenya is no exception. Among the sessions are: What is the path towards inclusive digital identity? The digital ID movement, AI and the risk of digitizing discrimination by Grace Mutung'u, Mustafa Mahmoud Yousif and Muthuri Kathure.
  • Data Futures Lab showcase. Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab experiments with better models of data governance — models that aren’t exploitative, extractive, or colonial in nature. At MozFest House Kenya, the Lab will showcase local projects, organizations, and initiatives doing exactly this. Projects range from a misinformation and hate speech monitoring platform in South Africa, to a text and image identification tool for farmers in Uganda. Projects will present to a live and virtual audience of peers and experts. Mozilla will award impact grants totaling $30,000 USD and an audience favorite for "greatest potential impact."