Nigeria enlists 120 experts to develop a framework for AI adoption

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The news:

  • The Nigerian government has disclosed plans to enlist 120 experts — researchers, startups, and stakeholders in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community — to set up a co-created framework to drive AI adoption in the country. 
  • According to Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, who announced the framework on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, experts will develop it at the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Workshop, which will be held in Abuja from April 15 to 18, 2024. 
  • The Minister explained that the framework aims to enable the government to deliver on its objectives, specifically priorities and implementation strategies, to improve lives and grow Nigeria”s economy through AI applications. 

Highlighting the ministry’s AI efforts since he took over in 2023, he said one of its first initiatives in office was to outline the country’s comprehensive Artificial Intelligence Strategy clearly.

He emphasised the need to harness AI potential for the nation’s advancement as a critical step towards using technology to enhance productivity in Nigeria. 

“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,” added Tijani. 

The minister praised Nigerians in the diaspora for their contributions to AI research and innovation, noting that the ministry has had to engage some of these well-known researchers and entrepreneurs in several initiatives.  

The new AI framework development is the next phase of the government’s collaboration with these experts. 

Besides the 120 AI-focused Nigerian researchers and startups participating in the AI strategy workshop, the minister noted that several other partner organisations will be joining in Abuja. 

In a post on X on August 28, 2023, Tijani asked Nigerians to nominate AI researchers in Nigeria and outside who have some experience working in the Nigerian market to join the ministry in co-creating a National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

In 2023, the communications minister announced that the ministry had identified over 6,000 Nigerian AI researchers across the globe who’ll be instrumental to the nation’s objective to deploy AI for job creation and utilise it in every sector of the economy.

The minister explained that the ministry’s goal has always been to use AI to enhance productivity through smart infrastructure, even now.

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