EAC & The HornTechnology

Sama boosts AI value chain in Kenya and Uganda with multi-cloud integration

The emergence and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have revolutionized various industries globally, offering endless opportunities and efficiencies.

As the demand for AI solutions grows, so does the need to establish a secure AI value chain. In East Africa, Kenya and Uganda have emerged as key players in this endeavor, with data company Sama delivery sites taking a pioneering step towards implementing multi-cloud connectivity.

This development not only underscores the region’s commitment to harnessing the potential of AI but also highlights the strategic significance of a secure and interconnected infrastructure to unlock the full value of these transformative technologies.

Sama has announced the global activation of a multi-cloud integration strategy within its central operating platform. Multi-cloud systems integration provides substantial cost savings and facilitates compliance with both internal and internationally recognized security standards for Sama customers.

This includes Fortune 50 companies such as General Motors, Ford, and Walmart. Service executives at Sama’s offices worldwide, including those in Kenya and Uganda, now can access client data seamlessly stored on the three leading global cloud storage providers: AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Ms. Annepeace Alwala, Sama’s Vice President of Global Service Delivery, says that the solution enables clients to store their data on any of the three major global cloud providers.

This allows for seamless and secure access by Sama, thereby reducing data transfer costs. In Kenya, the activation is supported locally through Safaricom Fibre Optic connectivity links, ensuring the necessary download and upload speeds for the substantial amount of data required for high-level performance of ML models.

With this multi-cloud integration, Sama is poised to become one of the largest data bandwidth consumers in Kenya, delivering artificial intelligence (AI) value chain export services. The local internet infrastructure successfully accommodates the increasing bandwidth demands without any issues.

“With these new integrations, customer onboarding can be reduced to just one day, speeding the process up as much as seven times. This will enhance Kenya’s competitiveness as an ideal investment and export services destination and further emphasizes its role as the true Silicon Savannah,” Ms Alwala said.

A fast onboarding process reduces the need for developing custom coding solutions to authorize Sama’s access to customers’ servers. This results in significant savings of both resources and time.

Read also: Sama to train 2,000 youth and women for global AI projects

Mitigating security breaches

Sama’s tailormade data pipeline integrations enable collaboration with pre-existing data flows, eliminating the requirement for client engineers to establish annotation and validation workflows. This further contributes to a reduction in resource utilization.

Sama’s Senior Vice President of Product and Technology, Mr Duncan Curtis, added: “To adequately address the many different edge cases that can lead to model failure in fields like AgTech, autonomous driving or e-commerce, an immense dataset is required. Sama’s new compatibility with major cloud providers allows us to access these datasets on behalf of our clients quickly, securely and cost-effectively. The faster we can complete onboarding, the faster we can assist our clients in getting their models to market.”

For Sama, mitigating security breaches remains a critical concern, given the use of substantial amounts of data that may involve personally identifiable information. Sama’s multi-cloud integration addresses this concern by ensuring that the company does not retain a copy of private data.

Instead, Sama securely accesses a customer’s files, makes necessary modifications (such as filtering and generating 3D ground points), and then writes the updated file back to the customer’s server.

Kenya is also actively fortifying its data privacy laws and protections, assuring multinational companies that data will remain secure. Sama, with its ISO and TISAX certifications, anticipates meeting all regulatory requirements in the country.

These latest integrations align with Sama’s ongoing efforts to expedite time to market and reduce the overall costs of model ownership. Leveraging its Platform 2.0 and a team of experts, Sama has previously enhanced the speed at which a model could be introduced to the market by 3-4 times, eliminating delays caused by rework.

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