AI Capacity Building

Working Group Co-Chaired by:

Audrey Azoulay, Director General, UNESCO, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission
Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO, Nokia

Artificial Intelligence (AI) augments human decision-making and productivity to expand opportunities for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, public policy can be a mediating force that builds a multistakeholder shaped enabling environment for AI and digital transformations to be leveraged for people, peace, prosperity and the planet.

The benefits and risks of AI technology are not equally distributed across regions of the world. The 2021 Artificial Intelligence Capacity Building Needs Assessment survey in Africa identified an urgent need to strengthen capacities of government officials to leverage digital technologies and to respond to the socio-economic challenges engendered by their use. There is an accelerating divide in terms of access to knowledge, data, education, training and human resources needed to benefit from and contribute to the development of AI. There are also accelerating risks in terms of AI impacts including on human rights, the rights of children, on gender or marginalized minorities.

Objectives of the group:

The Working Group, through a multi-stakeholder leadership model, will conduct new research to assess human capacity needs for digital transformation in the public sector from a Global South perspective, including through a series of interviews with regional policy makers, collection and assessment of good practices globally, with the aim to develop evidence-based recommendations, in the form of a Digital Transformation and AI competency framework for public sector duty bearers in the Global South. A Broadband Commission “Digital Transformation and AI competency framework” can contribute to trustworthy implementation of AI connectivity technology aligned to inclusive SDG achievement; enhance foresight and awareness by national connectivity actors to engage with confidence in national digital transformations; and provide a knowledge platform through which to enhance broader implementation and capacity training initiatives by Broadband Commission members, such as through tailored policy maker toolkits and workshops.


1. The Group was launched during the Broadband Commission Virtual Annual Fall Meeting in September 2021

Deadline for submission: 21 Nov 2021, express interest here.


Broadband Commissioners

  1. Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO
  2. Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights Foundation
  3. Mr. Lacina Koné, Smart Africa
  4. Dato Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC
  5. Dr. Qu Dongyu, FAO
  6. Mr, Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, EUTELSAT IGO
  7. Mr. Ziyang Xu, ZTE