A2K4D Events

Mobile Technology and Social Transformations: Access to Knowledge in Global Contexts - Book Launch

The webinar took place as part of A2K4D's Eleventh Annual Workshop at the Department of Economics at the American University in Cairo School of Business.

May 26, 2021

Moderated by: Nagla Rizk

In acknowledgment of The Richard Bartlett Gift, Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School and Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) launched the "Mobile Technology and Social Transformations: Access to Knowledge in Global Contexts" book.


Women, Data and Code: Gender Inclusion in MENA's Digital Economy

Workshop Webinar part of the A2K4D Eleventh Annual Workshop #A2K11 in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung (FES) Egypt

April 6, 2021

Moderator: Nagla Rizk

The objective of this webinar was to engage in a conversation on women in the digital economy in the MENA region. Speakers shared perspectives on women as subjects of data, as makers of technology and women in corporate positions. Key to the conversation were the various roles simultaneously played by women, and how digital technologies can help women navigate frictions caused by social, cultural, economic and legal barriers. The panelists were Jazem Halioui, founder and CEO at, Tunisia, Nada Ihab, policy manager at Access Partnership, United Kingdom, and Manal Jalloul, co-founder of AI-Lab, NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, American University in Beirut, Lebanon.

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Women, Youth and the Future of Work: Inclusion in Challenging Times

Workshop Webinar part of the A2K4D Tenth Annual Workshop

November 24, 2020

Moderator: Farah Ghazal

In this webinar, we shared experiences from the Global North and South and discussed the discourse on the opportunities and risks of emerging technologies: inequalities, unemployment, informality, and the widening of the digital divide. We also provided examples of the impact of the pandemic on work for disadvantaged groups such as youth, women, and those working informally as well as the future outlook. We discussed skills for the future (preparing the workforce for the future job market including retraining and reskilling) and addressed digitally inclusive policymaking. Speakers: Ayman Ismail, Abdul Latif Jameel endowed chair of entrepreneurship and founding director of AUC Venture Lab, Nada Shousha, senior advisor, International Finance Corporation, and Ahmed Abaza, Synapse Analytics.

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New Technologies and Open Innovation: The Voice of Young African Scholars

Workshop Webinar part of the A2K4D Tenth Annual Workshop

October 20, 2020

Moderator: Farah Ghazal

This webinar allowed new and emerging African scholars, known as NERGS, within the Open African Innovation Network (Open AIR), to share their perspectives and research and to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on their research and innovation in their areas and countries of study. A2K4D is the North African Hub on the Open African Innovation Network (Open AIR). Speakers: Nan Warner, program manager, Open AIR, Bontle Monnya, IP Unit, University of Cape Town, and Caroline Wanjiru Muchiri, Center for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law IP Clinic Manager, Strathmore University.

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Visualizing Innovation: Tracing Data Blind Spots in Egypt

Workshop Webinar part of the A2K4D Tenth Annual Workshop

October 20, 2020

 Moderator: Nadine Weheba

The webinar was an opportunity to showcase A2K4D and partners’ collaborative research efforts on alternative innovation and better understanding innovation data for sustainable development and policymaking. This is especially pertinent given the extent to which the pandemic has highlighted and reinforced the importance of data on innovation, health, and education. Our research partners are: Open African Innovation Research Network (Open AIR), the Alternative Innovation Measurement Lab (AIM Lab), SETS North Africa, and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt. Speakers: Hossam Abdelgawad, director of Urban Transport Technologies, SETS, Tyseer Aboulnasr, retired professor and dean, University of British Columbia, Canada, and Islam Hassouna, MSc, University of Oxford.

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The Digital Economy Post COVID-19: Global Outlook and Local Contexts

Workshop Webinar part of the A2K4D Tenth Annual Workshop

October 13, 2020

Moderator: Nagla Rizk

The pandemic amplified digital technologies' role and pushed us sooner into scenarios we had anticipated for later in the future, giving way to multidimensional concerns about the impact of digitization and new technologies especially AI, on markets, production, consumption, education, labor, expected employment standards, government operation, and regulation, among other areas. There is now an urgency to focus on the impact of digitization on economic and social well-being, as well. This session was held in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung (FES) Egypt as part of the Center’s tenth annual workshop, a four-part webinar series under the title of ‘Beyond COVID-19: Conversations on AI, Data, and the Future of Work in MENA’. Speakers: Armando Guio Espanol, affiliate, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University, Monica Kerretts-Makau, academic director, Thunderbird School of Global Management in Nairobi, Kenya, and Fabian Stephany, economist, and freelance data scientist, Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University.

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"Inclusive Development and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in MENA" AUC School of Business Forum

AUC School of Business Forum: Roundtable organized and hosted by A2K4D.

February 10, 2020

A2K4D hosted a roundtable titled "Inclusive Development and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in MENA", as part of the AUC Business Forum, moderated by Nagla Rizk. Local, regional, and global participants from business, civil society, and academia discussed the key challenges for AI and inclusive development and how these can be mitigated. They also discussed the opportunities and way forward for the region and the role of researchers, policymakers, businesses, and civil society as agents of change for more inclusive development in MENA and in the Global South.

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A2K4D Ninth Annual Workshop "Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, and Inclusion: What Prospects for the Middle East and Africa?"

October 14, 2019

A2K4D and our partners from Open African Innovation Research - Open AIR, and The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at The University of Cambridge presented at our Ninth Annual Workshop. The theme of that year was: Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, and Inclusion: What Prospects for the Middle East and Africa?

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Nagla Rizk at Business Forward's first anniversary: The role of the sharing economy in Egypt

‘Nagla Rizk at Business Forward's first anniversary: The role of the sharing economy in Egypt’ AUC School of Business.

December 3, 2018

Business Forward celebrated its first anniversary on December 3 under the umbrella theme of The DNA of Egypt’s real economy: A look forward. In her talk, founding director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D), Nagla Rizk examines the interplay between the centripetal and centrifugal forces in the age of the digital economy, along with the pivotal role of the sharing economy in pushing the national economy forward and making it more competitive. She also discusses the importance of disseminating research to a broader audience.

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A2K4D’s 8th Annual Workshop, ‘Digital Technologies, Innovation, and Inclusive Growth: Alternative Narratives

October 17, 2018

The Center held its Eighth Annual Workshop at Oriental Hall at AUC's Tahrir Campus from October 16-17, 2018. The workshop sessions were held over two afternoons, sharing outputs of A2K4D’s research over the past year. The discussion revolved around bringing the voice of Egypt, the MENA region, and Africa to global debates on issues such as innovation, data and artificial intelligence, the sharing economy, and gender - all from a developmental perspective.

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The Open African Innovation Research Partnership Transition Workshop

February 8, 2018

Members of the Open African Innovation Research Partnership (Open AIR) gathered in Accra, Ghana to share research findings and discuss future research plans. The 3-day workshop aimed to integrate new members into the network’s structure and research activities. The workshop empowered and engaged the new and emerging researchers’ group (NERGs), through international experiences and research in the fields of innovation and knowledge governance. Most importantly, the workshop focused on deliberating the next phase of research for the coming two years.

Seminars and Online Talks


Thinking Higher and Beyond: Perspectives on the Futures of Higher Education to 2050

May 25, 2021 

The report “Thinking Higher and Beyond: Perspectives on the Futures of Higher Education to 2050“ was launched at a virtual meeting as part of the la Educación Superior en América Latina y el Caribe (IESALC)’s project on the Futures of Higher Education with UNESCO. Experts from all over the globe are generating visionary ideas about the purpose and functions of higher education as it might be in the future. Nagla Rizk prepared a concept note sharing her views, ideas, and expertise on the two key questions this project is exploring: How would you like higher education to be in 2050? How could higher education contribute to better futures for all in 2050?

The report is the result of a collective and creative process of discussions around the role of higher education globally.

AI for Good Webinars

AI for Good Webinars: AI in the Middle East and North Africa: Visions and Realities

June 23, 2021

We launched the report 'Imagining a Future with Intelligent Machines: A Middle Eastern and North African Perspective', co-produced by the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) at the Department of Economics, at the American University in Cairo’s School of Business, and the University of Cambridge's Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI). The launch took place as part of the AI for Good Webinar series. The report contains findings from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) edition of the AI Narratives workshop, which took place in Cairo, October 2019.

A2k4d Seminars 1

Business Forum Roundtable Two on the “Future of Work”, AUC School of Business

Feb 8, 2021

The second roundtable of the 2021 Business Forum on “Future of Work” moderated by Ghada Howaidy, associate dean for Executive Education and External Relations at the AUC School of Business. This roundtable brought together local and international experts to discuss, the major global trends and challenges in preparing the workforce for the future. Rizk discussed why the “Future of Work” subject is more pressing in Egypt today and what clear opportunities that can emerge, particularly for inclusion, and especially for women.

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Davos 2021: Society and Future of Work: Stopping Poverty from Going Viral, World Economic Forum

January 28, 2021

Nagla Rizk moderated this Davos Agenda 2021 session, “Stopping Poverty from Going Viral,” with the World Economic Forum. The session hosted three panelists James X. Zhan, senior director, Investment and Enterprise, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Asif Saleh, executive director, BRAC, and Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (Cardinal; Prefect, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development). The session assessed opportunities and challenges in achieving a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery. Speakers provided their insights on the immediate action needs that need to be taken to prevent more millions of people from going into extreme poverty.

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'A study on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Work in Egypt' International Labour Organization. Ministry of Manpower. ADWA'

December 21, 2020

The international labor organization, Ministry of Manpower, and the ADWA' (Advancing the Decent Work Agenda in North Africa) hosted a dissemination event on the fourth industrial revolution, artificial intelligence, and the future of work Egypt. Ghada Labib (Deputy Minister of Institutional Development, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology) presented the institutional development in the digital Egypt strategy scope. Abeer Fouad (researcher at the central administration for employment and labor market information) presented the national committee's strategies on the future of jobs in Egypt. Nagla Rizk and Ayman Ismail presented findings and recommendations from their ILO report, 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI and the Future of Work in Egypt.'

  • Nagla Rizk was a keynote speaker in the ICTLearn 2020 14th International Conference Internet Education hosted by the Arab Forum for Human and Technology Development (AFHTD).

    Fellow keynote speakers; Moataz Khorshid, former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt. Professor Mahmoud Saqr, President of the Academy of Scientific Research, Egypt. Moheb Al-Rafei, former Minister of Education, Egypt. Mohamed Jemni, director of ICT, ALECSO League of Arab States, digital and knowledge solutions consultant UAE. Professor visitor Sherif Hasim USA, NY State University. Magdy ElNashar Curtin University, Australia. Professor Manel Medhioub, University of Esprit, Tunisia. Aisha Abdul Hamid El-Tarif University, Algeria. Rana Al-Aloul Dean - Gaza University Palestine.

    December 6, 2020


    Jordan Open Source Association (JOSA)

    December 5, 2020



    Portulans Institute

    November 11, 2020



    Hosted by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt, as part of the ITU/UNESCO Digital Inclusion Week.

    October 26, 2020



    University of Cape Town

    September 7, 2020



    Uottawa Centre for Law, Technology, and Society. CLTS Virtual talks

    June 24, 2020



    May 14, 2020

    The Digital Asia Hub is independent and interdisciplinary research exploring both the opportunities and challenges of digital technology, innovation, and society in Asia. The hub initiated a series of online talks to discuss digital rights, governance and infrastructure, the use of ICT for development and civic engagement, and innovation. During the session titled “When, The Music’s Over,” Nagla Rizk made insightful remarks on the economic and social vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic, in particular risks for informal workers and migrant labor.


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    May 13, 2019



    Our Founding Director, Nagla Rizk discussed the importance of inclusion in the development of Artificial Intelligence.

    January 18, 2018



    The Africa Open Data Network is a community of Africans and friends of Africa who believe in Africa's development agenda and the potential of open data to help achieve its development goals. A2K4D researchers, Nancy Salem and Dalia Seif, represented AUC.

    November 13, 2017



    Open AIR is a unique collaborative network of researchers spread across 15 African countries, Canada, and elsewhere in the world researching innovation in Africa. Open AIR is providing new and emerging researchers with international experiences, industry linkages, and promising careers. Their New and Emerging Researchers Group (NERG) receive training and mentoring to help develop the talent of these Fellows, creating immediate jobs and long-term career opportunities by building lasting international and interdisciplinary relationships. For more information about the New and Emerging Researchers Group, click here

    February 10, 2017



    Our Founding Director, Nagla Rizk and the Open AIR team looked at new ways of measuring innovation that will better reflect the realities of Africa and other countries in the world.

    January 30, 2017



    Cape Town - This is a presentation to the combined third Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest and Open AIR Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa.

    December 24, 2013



    This debate between Nagla Rizk, The American University in Cairo, and Ben Sihanya, the University of Nairobi, moderated by Chris Armstrong, University of the Witwatersrand, asks whether it is up to African creators, or to policymakers and administrators, to build the legitimacy of national copyright environments on the continent. This is a session from the combined 3rd Global Congress on IP and the Public Interest and Open AIR Conference on Innovation and IP in Africa.

    December 9, 2013