The AI Academy: Leveraging Education in AI To Unlock Tajikistan’s Economic Potential

By Gloria Chie Lee, Shadman Uddin
2023 | Case No. E846 | Length 26 pgs.
The case study “The AI Academy: Leveraging Education in AI to Unlock Tajikistan’s Economic Potential” revolves around Azizjon Azimi, a visionary social entrepreneur committed to transforming Tajikistan’s economic landscape through education in artificial intelligence (AI). After achieving academic success in the United States, Azimi returns to Tajikistan and establishes TajRupt and its subsidiary, the AI Academy, aiming to catalyze the nation’s economic growth by harnessing the power of AI. The case explores the challenges and strategic decisions facing Azimi, including the integration of AI education into the national curriculum, the fostering of AI-driven entrepreneurship, and the potential of Tajikistan to become a regional AI hub. It delves into the socio-economic context of Tajikistan and the role of AI in leapfrogging traditional development pathways. Through this case, readers are invited to consider Azimi’s various strategic choices and weigh the implications for Tajikistan’s aspirational future in the global tech economy.

Learning Objective

This case is suitable for courses on social entrepreneurship and economic development. It is designed to help students think about the challenges of and opportunities for driving economic growth, considering resource allocation trade-offs, and evaluating different scaling strategies for ambitious social impact outcomes. Specifically, by discussing this case, students will:

  • consider the various factors that shape the social impact goals of different types of organizations: for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental
  • explore different strategies for driving rapid economic growth
  • unpack common trade-offs and tensions between financial sustainability, efficacy and scale; and
  • identify conditions and strategic choices that can support organizations maximize financial sustainability, efficacy, and scale.
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