• May 26, 2024

PMI Partners With African Data Scientists

 PMI Partners With African Data Scientists
Photo: Aleksandr

Philip Morris International has partnered with data scientists from Africa to study the continent’s tobacco-growing areas using satellite mapping, according to a story on the company’s website.

Six data scientists from the African Institute for Mathematical Studies recently joined PMI for a 12-week fellowship program to study tobacco-growing areas using satellite imagery. The participants developed a generic solution for quantifying the sizes of farmed land, based on the satellite images.

The partnership was the brainchild of Ishango, a social enterprise working to increase the opportunities available to talented data scientists all over the continent. “Our model is to get international companies that have interesting data science projects that our fellows can work on to build skills,” says Eunice Baguma Ball, co-founder of Ishango.

According to Jan Stuebbe, PMI’s global head of inclusion and diversity, the potential benefits of the project are considerable.

“It doesn’t only help our operations because we understand where tobacco is growing, where we can buy it and what the prices could be. It’s also a wonderful engagement tool for African organizations to say to the politicians or regulators that we try to do things that help communities and farmers in Africa,” he says. “And that increases our standing in those communities and possibly even helps us attract talent in places that we would have never looked at before.”