We ask that you recall a central principle of African philosophy, whether you know it as ujamaa (Swahili), umuntu (Chichewa), ubuntu (Zulu), unhu (Shona), djema’a (Arabic), or through the many other words used across our continent: the philosophy of familyhood and unity.

Our duty, as we come together at the Indaba, is to create a familyhood of people and cultures and learning, built on the principles of freedom, equality and unity; and towards the aim of strengthening African machine learning. We best serve each other when we allow each other the freedom to be as we are; only on the basis of equality–between genders, nationalities or other differences–can we work together co-operatively; and when we are united as a society can we work towards the good of all.

Every participant of the Indaba must fiercely defend these principles, and make it their responsibility to uphold this spirit of togetherness.

This code of conduct outlines what the expected standards of behaviour at the Indaba are. It is every participant’s responsibility to uphold, and is how we maintain an environment that keeps everyone safe and welcome.

Every participant is responsible for promoting and creating a safe experience for all participants, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, or socioeconomic status.

Unacceptable Behaviour

As organisers, we are committed to creating a safe experience, and will not tolerate harassment of Indaba participants in any form. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled permanently at the discretion of the organisers.

Forms of harassment and discriminatory behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual language and imagery,
  • Sexist, racist, and exclusionary jokes, and acts that insult or belittle other participants in any way.
  • Offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, ability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status;
  • Sexual images in public spaces;
  • Deliberate intimidation;
  • Stalking and following;
  • Unwarranted photography or recording;
  • Sustained disruption of event programming;
  • Inappropriate physical contact;
  • Unwelcome sexual attention;
  • In any way, creating a sexualised environment.

These acts are unacceptable at any and all Indaba events, whether organised by the Indaba organisers, sponsors of the Indaba, or by participants themselves.

Exhibitors, sponsor or vendor booths, or similar activities are also subject to this policy. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualized images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) should not use sexualized clothing/uniforms/costumes, or otherwise create a sexualized environment.

Reporting an Incident

You can report an incident or concern in two ways:

Anonymous reporting
You can make an anonymous report by completing this form or at deeplearningindaba.com/conduct. This is an anonymous form that does not require an email address or other identifying information.

We can’t follow-up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Personal reporting
You can make a personal report by:

– Calling or messaging our phone number. This phone number will be continuously monitored for the duration of the event.

– By completing this incident report form (anonymously or non-anonymously)
– By email at: conduct@deeplearningindaba.com
– Directly contacting an Indaba organiser, identified by RED badges, buttons, or shirts.

When taking a personal report, the organisers will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we’ll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we’ll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You won’t be asked to confront anyone and we won’t tell anyone who you are.

Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement, local support services, provide escorts, or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the Indaba. We value your attendance.

Enforcing our Standards

Any participants that are asked to stop any harassing or discriminatory behavior are expected to comply immediately. A response of “just joking” or “teasing” or “playful” will not be accepted; behavior can be harassing without an intent to offend.

If a participant engages in behaviour that breaks this code of conduct, the Indaba organisers retain the right to take any actions needed to keep the event a welcoming environment for all participants. This includes:

  • A formal or informal warning to the offender,
  • Expulsion from the Indaba,
  • Expulsion from future Indabas,
  • Reporting the incident to the offender’s home institution or funders, or
  • Reporting the incident to local law enforcement.

We expect participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities (organised by us, by sponsors, or independently). We encourage people to follow these rules outside of event activities too!

Ongoing Review

The Indaba strives to create a positive and inclusive environment. As such, the Indaba leadership team periodically reviews this Code of Conduct (at least annually) to ensure that it continues to align with the philosophy of familyhood and unity and a safe environment, and addresses the needs of our community. The Indaba organisers welcome feedback; all feedback can be sent to us by email at conduct@deeplearningindaba.com.


This code of conduct was written by adapting the wording and structure and wording from the Geek Feminism Wiki, the We Rise Tech Conference, and the Conference on Neural and Information Processing Systems.