Director's Pitch 2024: Embracing AI For Development in the Horn of Africa

Articles & Insights

January 22, 2024


Muliru Yoni

In the transformative year of 2023, Scofield Associates showcased its unwavering commitment to holistic development in the Horn of Africa. By seamlessly linking diverse services to our stakeholders and partners, we actively addressed pressing challenges in climate change, food security, and conflict management. In the midst of regional complexities, including conflicts in Sudan and diplomatic tensions in Somaliland, Ethiopia, and Somalia, we take pride in the strides made toward sustainable development.

Our dedication was evident in supporting groundbreaking projects that tackled the tri-factor challenges of climate change, food security, and conflict management. Our interventions ranged from promoting sustainable practices to implementing renewable energy solutions and adaptive strategies for environmental changes. These initiatives not only bolstered food production but also fortified the resilience of local food systems. In conflict-affected areas, Scofield Associates engaged in community-driven peacebuilding efforts, employing extensive research to understand root causes and facilitating dialogue for sustained peace and stability.

As we step into 2024, Scofield Associates remains a steadfast catalyst for positive change in the Horn of Africa. Acknowledging the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in advancing development outcomes, we are positioned to lead the charge in its strategic adoption in research, and for development. Recent research from the International Monetary Fund underscores the potential impact of AI in emerging markets, aligning with our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and adaptability – if gains are to be realized.

Recognizing the slow adoption of AI in our region, we embark on a comprehensive strategy to encourage and support our partners and clients, in embracing these transformative technologies. Understanding the financial constraints, we will actively seek funding opportunities and partnerships to alleviate initial costs, making AI to be more accessible, easily adopted, and used. We aim to raise awareness and build capacity through tailored workshops, training sessions, and knowledge-sharing forums, demystifying AI’s potential to streamline processes, enhance decision-making, and contribute to sustainable development.

Collaboration remains at the heart of our approach. Partnering with tech innovators, AI specialists, governments, donors and other stakeholders, we will facilitate the seamless integration of AI into the development landscape. This collaboration will extend to practical applications, such as infusing AI in conflict prediction and resolution, program management and other monitoring & evaluation activities. By leveraging AI’s capabilities to analyze vast datasets, including social media and news articles, we will proactively identify early signs of potential conflicts, engaging in targeted peacebuilding efforts for stability and development.

In our research methodologies, AI will also enhance our capacity for sophisticated analysis, uncovering deeper insights and identifying emerging trends. This integration will extend to organizational tasks and project management, optimizing efficiency and effectiveness. We envision AI not merely as a tool for adoption but as a catalyst for community empowerment. As we venture into the future, AI will be seamlessly integrated into our fieldwork, ensuring effective communication through language translation tools.

In 2024, Scofield Associates is poised to lead the way in promoting AI adoption for better development outcomes. Through awareness-building, collaboration, showcasing successes, securing funding, and empowering local communities, we aim to catalyze a paradigm shift, making AI an invaluable asset in our pursuit of sustainable and impactful development in the Horn of Africa.

He is a researcher, program manager and M&E specialist in the Horn of Africa. His research focuses on the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE), border security, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDR), migration, and climate change. ​

Muliru Yoni
Director - Scofield Associates
Muliru Yoni