THE DREAM

“Big dreams. Bold brash dreams and the audacity to put those dreams into action are fuel for personal success and social progress”. Those are the words of a mentor of mine from Kellogg Elikem Kuenyehia, and I blame him for the words you’ll read beyond this point.



I am Alex Tsado and 12 months ago I started a process that I hope will reverse the projection that Africa’s poor will double to 450 million by 2050. I believe strongly that market creating innovations that allow common people earn more from their businesses will be critical in allowing them make better lifestyle decisions for themselves. The organization I now run with my team is called Alliance for AI, setup to help Africa’s ecosystem realize the promise of Artificial Intelligence.



I started off in a humble home in Nigeria with hard working parents who inspired me daily. Series of “angels” showed up at points in my life to offer me an ear and scholarships that enabled me climb up to the global 1% with my education and access to opportunity. But I always remember that I’m not from here, and rarely spend a day not trying to help others smarter than I am get into this bracket so we might expand it.



I started off in a humble home in Nigeria with hard working parents who inspired me daily. Series of “angels” showed up at points in my life to offer me an ear and scholarships that enabled me climb up to the global 1% with my education and access to opportunity. But I always remember that I’m not from here, and rarely spend a day not trying to help others smarter than I am get into this bracket so we might expand it.



My first initiative was with Adebisi Oje, to use our africode.org platform to expose 12-19 year old Nigerians to computer science through Lego robots and game coding interphases. Through my general mgmt MBA – short-speak for I took every class I could attend or audit – at Kellogg, I exposed myself to the business world from multiple angles especially through the three global internships I participated in, and told anyone who was unlucky to listen that there is a different lens to look at business and innovation in Africa. For example during a Geeks on a plane trip to Africa, Silicon Valley execs who had previously labelled Africa a low-gaming continent after viewing low app store download metrics were thrilled by their findings in local computer villages. Hundreds of people were walking and walking out five minutes later with 10 new games on their phones. You have to look at Africa differently.



At Nvidia I have not stopped sharing this message. My actual role positions me to manage customer acquisition and go-to-market strategy for all our AI products on the global public cloud. In addition I spend much of my free-time evangelizing investments in Africa and the American black community as I see them as great missed opportunities for both the company and my communities. Nvidia builds the GPUs and accompanying software that make modern day AI possible and the best innovators around the world use these offerings to build solutions that improve society. Africans don’t have access to this; Nvidia doesn’t have a strategic distribution plan for Africa. I visit African geniuses and find that they have to travel across oceans or wait for a returning friend to provide them hardware to build world-class solutions. I want to change this.



Beyond providing easy access to GPUs in Africa, I want to evangelize the transformational possibilities brought about by artificial intelligence, and that’s why I initiated the Alliance for AI. I first exposed the idea to Andile Ngcaba and Stephen Ozoigbo during a dinner meeting April 2017 and they helped expand my dreams. Together we thought-up an organization that would position entrepreneurs at the center, and pull ecosystem partners to help amplify the effect of their work with AI and make it, transformational. Our organization would first serve as a spotlight for the great works of the first luminaries, and then create tangible opportunities for brilliant small-scale practitioners to partner with large organizations in the private and public spheres to innovate new markets. Since inception, we have generated decent interests within the African union and other regional bodies to write policy amendments that will further help increase Africa’s capacity for applied AI.



As we enable more “market-creating innovations” across the continent, we’ll help more families earn more money that will empower them to make better decisions with their health, education, politics and more. This will help reverse poverty projections in Africa.



Elikem also said, “To create bold brash dreams, you’ve got to feed your imagination, and respect your uniqueness”.


Africa is the most diverse continent, with the youngest population. These two points provide us with a unique advantage on the kind of contributions we can make to AI; we can again attain global innovators status, just like we did during the times of the pyramids. With proper focus and collaboration, we should deliver on our bold brash dream and set our world on a new course. I wish all of us good luck.