- Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is initiating a National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy and is inviting globally recognized AI researchers of Nigerian heritage to contribute.
- The strategy aims to address Nigeria’s critical challenges through technology and is projected to be influential in the country’s technological future, starting with pilot communities in three states in 2023.
A Paradigmatic Shift in Tackling National Challenges through AI
Nigeria is setting the stage for a monumental advancement in technological governance by extending an invitation to AI scientists of Nigerian descent and world-renowned experts who have engaged with the Nigerian market. According to Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, this move is part of the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) grand scheme to formulate a National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.
We’re curating a list of the top researchers of Nigerian descent from all over the world to join us in co-creating a National AI Strategy. The strategy will help shape our approach to building innovative tech solutions to our most pressing national problems…1/2 pic.twitter.com/6JpPPps3oy
— Dr. 'Bosun Tijani (@bosuntijani) August 28, 2023
Assembling a Global Brain Trust: Methodology and Objectives
In a post shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), Tijani announced the approach the government is adopting to identify contributors to the AI strategy. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study informs the backdrop of this initiative, positing that AI has the potential to contribute an enormous $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Of this, $3 trillion is attributable to heightened productivity, and $9.1 trillion could arise from the invention of new goods and services.
The approach to select AI luminaries is far from rudimentary; it’s predicated on a nuanced method employing advanced machine learning models and global AI publication data. The goal is to create a research index, similar to the well-known “h-index,” to identify key influencers in the AI sphere who have Nigerian roots.
As this meticulous research phase winds down, the Nigerian government is not just stopping at elite involvement; it’s seeking public participation. It acknowledges that the collective intelligence of the Nigerian populace can yield invaluable insights, correcting any potential oversights and enriching the strategy.
Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, made headlines recently by revealing a multiphase plan to cultivate AI developer communities across Nigeria. This project will kick off in three states in the coming year as a part of a larger, strategic blueprint, before gradually enveloping other states and local government areas.
By leveraging global expertise and communal intelligence, Nigeria is preparing to turn its AI strategy into a catalytic blueprint for national transformation. The initiative promises not just to tackle the immediate challenges but also to shape Nigeria’s socio-economic landscape in a profoundly innovative way.