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document-fr | Towards Afrocentric NLP: where we are and where we can go

Aligning with ACL 2022 special Theme on “Language Diversity: from Low Resource to Endangered Languages”, we discuss the major linguistic and sociopolitical challenges facing development of NLP technologies for African languages. Situating African languages in a typological framework, we discuss how the particulars of these languages can be harnessed. To facilitate future research, we also highlight current efforts, communities, venues, datasets, and tools. Our main objective is to motivate and advocate for an Afrocentric approach to technology development. With this in mind, we recommend what technologies to build and how to build, evaluate, and deploy them based on the needs of local African communities.