• Fri. May 24th, 2024

Nigeria Secures $3.5M Seed Fund For AI Strategy Projects, Says Minister

ByHybrid News

Apr 25, 2024

In a significant stride towards advancing Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiatives, the Federal Government of Nigeria has secured a $3.5 million seed fund from various development and interested partners. The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, made this announcement on Friday during the closing ceremony of a four-day international workshop on National Artificial Intelligence and Strategy for Nigeria held in Abuja.

Dr. Tijani expressed optimism about Nigeria’s potential for development through collective efforts from local and foreign partners in implementing the AI strategy. He emphasized the necessity of preparing citizens for a competitive future, as AI is set to become ubiquitous globally and in Nigeria.

The minister listed several funding agencies, including UNDP, UNESCO, Meta, Google, Microsoft, Luminate, Lagos Business School, Data Science Nigeria, NITDA, and other international and local partners who have pledged support for AI initiatives in Nigeria.

Highlighting the outcomes of the workshop, Dr. Tijani revealed that an initial draft of Nigeria’s National AI Strategy had been formulated, alongside significant developments and partnerships to accelerate AI development in the country.

One notable partnership announced was between 21st Century Technologies and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) to expedite the development of AI projects of national interest.

Dr. Tijani also advocated for the establishment of an African Council for Artificial Intelligence to ensure uniform regulations and market prospects for AI deployment across the continent.

Further detailing the funding allocation, the minister disclosed that the AI Collective for Growth initiative, led by NITDA and run by Lagos Business School, would receive support from partners for the next three years.

Dr. Tijani emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to investing in deep infrastructure and leveraging resources to support visionary projects, underlining President Muhammadu Buhari’s willingness to invest in such endeavors.

In concluding remarks, the minister underscored the collaborative spirit driving Nigeria’s AI initiatives, expressing gratitude for the partnerships formed and the support received from various stakeholders. He emphasized the importance of overcoming fear and harnessing resources to propel Nigeria’s AI agenda forward, reaffirming the nation’s capability to achieve transformative outcomes in this domain.

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