MozFest House: Kenya is set to make its debut on September 21 and 22 at Nairobi’s Shamba House Cafe.
The event is designed to tackle pressing challenges and explore innovative solutions in the realm of digital extractivism, the governance of AI systems, and the datasets that train them.
With a focus on building AI for Africans, by Africans, this event marks a significant step in regional adaptations of the globally renowned Mozilla Festival.
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 entrepreneurs, 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 enhances 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 have 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): “Oftentimes, 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 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 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 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 be presented to a live and virtual audience of peers and experts. Mozilla will award impact grants totalling $30,000 USD and an audience favourite for “greatest potential impact.”