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Nigeria enacts Al framework for adoption

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Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

The Federal Government has announced plans to bring together 120 Nigerian researchers and startups including other stakeholders in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space to develop a co-created framework for AI adoption in the country. 

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, announced this on Wednesday. According to the Minister, the experts would come up with this framework at the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Workshop scheduled to be held from April 15th to 18th, 2024 in Abuja. 

Tijani said the resulting strategy from the session would help the government to deliver the priorities and implementation approach towards improving lives and growing the nation’s economy through the application of AI.

Describing the strategy framework that would be developed as a significant step in the country’s AI journey, the Minister highlighted his AI efforts since he assumed office last year:

“One of the earliest initiatives from the start of my term in office was to properly define and outline a comprehensive Artificial Intelligence Strategy for Nigeria.

“The need to coordinate and harness the power of AI for national development is a critical element in our journey toward the use of technology to accelerate productivity in our country.

“AI offers us the opportunity to leverage technology to solve some of our most complex and urgent challenges in education, agriculture, healthcare and so much more.

“Recognising the incredible depth of talent of Nigerian descent scattered all over the world working in the field of AI, we very quickly looked to identify some of these leading researchers and started to engage them in a number of our initiatives.

“From the National Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme (NAIRS) to the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology Application (4IRTA) project, we have worked with these talented academics and entrepreneurs towards the mainstreaming of the application of AI in our everyday lives.”  

Having laid the foundation through other initiatives highlighted, Tijani said the next phase for the country is to have a strategy framework in place.

 “As a next phase of these collaborations, I am pleased to confirm that we will be hosting the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Workshop from April 15th to 18th, 2024 in Abuja.

“The workshop…will develop a co-created framework for a multi-year strategy and action plan for the research, application, and adoption of AI in Nigeria.

 “Participants at the workshop will include 120 of Nigeria’s leading researchers and startups in AI. We are also grateful for the support from several other partner organisations who will be joining us in Abuja.

“It is my belief that the resulting strategy will help us deliver the priorities and implementation approach towards improving lives and growing our economy through the application of AI,” the Minister stated.  

In December last year, the Minister announced that the Ministry in its bid to make Nigeria a global leader in Artificial Intelligence, had identified over 6,000 AI researchers who are of Nigerian descent and based in several parts of the world.   

According to him, these researchers will be instrumental to the country’s new drive to deploy AI in every sector of the economy and for job creation.   

He added that the goal of the Ministry is to use AI to enhance productivity through the deployment of smart infrastructure. 

The Minister had earlier in August, via a post on Twitter, asked Nigerians to recommend any AI researchers of Nigerian descent to join the country in co-creating a National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy. 

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