Building NLP in Africa

EMNLP2020 Social

African NLP is more than just a lack of data, it's African expression, it's decolonisation, it's poetry, literature and music. Whether your African or simply excited by Africa, you are welcome here.

Join us

Whether you're African, working on African NLP or just interested to be involved, please join us - we're so excited to have you join us!

We are organizing two socializing sessions

Rocket chat:
check EMNLP2020 socials page for a zoom participation link.

Rocket Chat

Artwork by @ke_neil_we
Johannesburg, South Africa

African NLP Papers @ EMNLP2020

  • ∀ Masakhane community, Participatory Research for Low-resourced Machine Translation: A Case Study in African Languages (findings) [video] [paper] [Keynote at WMT20]

  • Hedderich et al. Transfer Learning and Distant Supervision for Multilingual Transformer Models: A Study on African Languages (short paper) [video] [paper]

Masakhane African NLP Community

MASAKHANE is an research effort for natural language processing for African languages that is OPEN SOURCE, CONTINENT-WIDE, DISTRIBUTED and ONLINE.

You don't need to be a NLP researcher to join us! We want anyone passionate about African languages to join. So we have many major ways to help:

  1. Accessing or creating datasets

  2. Training Models

  3. Analysing and evaluation of models

  4. Mentoring budding NLP practitioners

  5. Being a story teller - capturing our journey

Join us

  1. Join our Slack

  2. Request to join our Google Group - this will add you to our weekly meetings

  3. So we can feature you on our webpage, please fill in our membership form HERE

Contact us

Twitter: @MasakhaneNLP


Artwork by @ke_neil_we
Johannesburg, South Africa

Have a Break!

Learn about African languages

"Most languages spoken in Africa belong to one of three large language families: Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan and Niger–Congo. Another hundred belong to smaller families such as Ubangian (sometimes grouped within Niger-Congo) and the various families called Khoisan, or the Indo-European and Austronesian language families mainly spoken outside Africa; the presence of the latter two dates to 2,600 and 1,500 years ago, respectively. In addition, the languages of Africa include several unclassified languages and sign languages." (Languages of Africa)

Listen to some African Tunes
Here's a playlist of African Songs complied by the Masakhane African NLP community.
Youtube | Apple Music
"African music is a tradition mainly played at gatherings at special occasions. The traditional music of Africa, given the vastness of the continent, is historically ancient, rich and diverse, with different regions and nations of Africa having many distinct musical traditions." (Music of Africa)

Have a snack!
looking for inspiration? Here's a list of dishes from the delicious African cuisine.
"The continent of Africa is the second-largest landmass on Earth, and is home to hundreds of different cultural and ethnic groups. This diversity is also reflected in the many local culinary traditions in terms of choice of ingredients, style of preparation and cooking techniques". (African Cuisine)