Q: Samasource is certainly proving that AI has vast career potentials within it. Tell us about your AI training centres in Nairobi and North Uganda.
Since we started a decade ago, we’ve become the largest data services company in East Africa, employing about 10,000 people, all of them from extremely low-income backgrounds, most of them earning about $2 a day before Samasource.
Northern Uganda is mainly known for the horrific civil war that was waged by the Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony. Most people wouldn’t imagine that in war-torn Gulu you could set up a tech centre. Our Gulu centre is off-grid, has solar panels on the roof, and has employed over 500 people inside refurbished shipping containers.
There are so many benefits to this approach to giving work: it’s much lighterweight than a factory. I don’t have to worry about getting goods through customs, about importing raw materials. It’s a much more efficient way to create large numbers of jobs than many forms of traditional commerce. That’s the promise of a digital economy.