nigeria to lead africa's ai revolution with key strategy

Nigeria to lead Africa’s AI revolution with key strategy

Stressing the need for global collaboration, Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy in Nigeria, is calling on top AI researchers of Nigerian descent to assemble and help develop a key National AI Strategy.

The strategy is vitally important to responsibly steer the AI revolution in Nigeria towards meeting national goals concerning sustainable development, improved services, inclusive growth and employment opportunities, Tijani mentioned.

He wants to “pioneer ethical and inclusive AI innovation that improves welfare and expands opportunities for all.” The strategy aims to use AI to reap enhanced benefits in key areas of agriculture, financial inclusion, healthcare, environment, education and cybersecurity.

AI Adoption Could Boost Nigeria’s Economic Growth

In order to identify researchers who would eventually bring forward the National AI Strategy for Nigeria, the ministry examined AI publications and took the help of machine learning to predict Nigerian heritage. The process yielded some 100 likely researchers.

But certain issues remain, including Tijani acknowledging that “about 4 in 100 cases” could actually be false positives. Therefore, the ministry seeks crowdsourcing in order to facilitate wider public participation to refine the list of researchers.

The approach’s goal is to welcome researchers who carry experiences of working within the Nigerian market, the minister explained. Ultimately, the collaboration seeks an enhanced tech landscape and “more effective and impactful innovations”.

Tijani stressed the importance of AI adoption to boost Nigeria’s economic growth. The emerging technology holds the potential to add a staggering $15.7 trillion to the global economy by the end of the decade. Impressive numbers, right?

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But Hiccups Exist Along The Way

By welcoming global expertise, Nigeria’s National AI Strategy could improve opportunities for the population as well as the wider region through job creation, improved services and inclusive growth. But hiccups exist, with developers urged to take responsibility for their products.

While the power of AI seems to follow no bounds, a recent study by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) highlighted the need for greater regulation in the tech world and more education and awareness among the general public about the associated risks.

Researchers involved in the landmark study analysed various text-and image-based AI tools only to find the technology frequently generated content that could worsen eating disorder-related issues, with vulnerable populations facing greater harm.