The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a new $5.5 million collaboration with e-GUIDE and Atlas AI to accelerate economic development and promote climate resilient infrastructure investment across sub-Saharan Africa.
Initially covering Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda, the platform will provide policymakers with extensive cross-sectoral insight into where new infrastructure development can help mitigate community vulnerabilities and promote economic opportunities. This will ultimately assist in efforts to prioritize and sequence investments more effectively in these key sectors.
Leveraging satellite data and machine learning technologies, this three-year effort will produce insight into the well-being of communities through a digital platform. The platform builds upon new research and publicly available data sets covering the nexus of agriculture, energy and transportation sector development conditions.
“While data science has been used to improve individual development projects, we haven’t yet unlocked its potential to improve development at a systems level — which is critical, because efforts to drive change in energy, agriculture and transportation must be integrated in order to make opportunity universal and sustainable,” said Zia Khan, Senior Vice President The Rockefeller Foundation.
Hundreds of millions lack access to safe, reliable electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, hindering many governments’ development and climate resilience goals. A lack of widespread data about Africa’s transportation infrastructure constrains investment in resilient solutions in a sector responsible for around a quarter of all global emissions.
The initiative starts in Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, because these four countries represent places where the Rockefeller foundation, already has a strong relationship and is already collaborating on projects.
The initiative may be expanded to cover more countries in the coming years.
An advisory board is being created that will initially be composed of four independent experts with deep expertise in one or more sectors of interest.