Building NLP in Africa

IJCAI 2022 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 a unique (not to miss) in-person socializing session

As our event will be held at the same time as the IJCAI workshops (July 23-25, 2022), you need to register for IJCAI workshops to attend the event. Registration and attendance applications grants are currently open, so please apply by May 6, 2022.

The event will take place on Monday, July 25 2022, from 14:00-17:30 (CEST) in room Schubert3

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 with US!

Learn about African languages through games and nice African Tunes

"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)

Learn about NLP advances African in African Languages

Our community has worked hard and extensively made progress toward African Languages representation on the world's NLP map. We have published many datasets, papers, and held already 3 workshop editions at IRCL, and EACL. Our amazing members are providing 5 talks about their ongoing initiatives/works, so join us to know more about our wonderful community, and the work we are doing for endangered African Languages.



  • Chris C. Emezue: "Lanfrica: Connecting African language resources"

  • Andre Niyongabo: "KinyaBERT: a Morphology-aware Kinyarwanda Language Model"

  • Iyanuoluwa Shode: "We ain't just cooking Jollof, We Are Building NLP in Africa"

  • Olanrewaju Samuel: "Bridging the gap between Linguists and NLP practitioners"

  • Bonaventure F. P. Dossou: "Building NLP applications for African Languages"