Mr. Kashifu Abdullahi, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has unveiled Nigeria’s intention to drive the worldwide adoption and influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This strategic vision by the Nigerian Government aims to empower Nigerians to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of AI technology on a global scale. In the realm of AI, Nigeria’s role will transcend mere consumption as stated by Mr. Abdullahi on Wednesday. Instead, the nation will devote its efforts to significantly influencing the application and development of this technology, while simultaneously aiding in the realization of its envisioned future.
In the midst of the recently unveiled ‘Digital for all Challenge’, the CEO of NITDA addressed the audience, emphasizing the urgent need for Nigeria to prepare itself for the upcoming age. Consequently, the nation has already initiated substantial investments and educational programs, not just limited to AI application, but also encompassing extensive research and analysis. This multifaceted approach aims to generate innovative solutions that will indubitably enhance the lives of all Nigerian citizens. The future is rapidly approaching, and AI is at its forefront.
Promoting the development of innovative solutions.
However, its arrival is outpacing our expectations. Merely being a passive observer in the realm of AI is not enough. NITDA’s aim is not only to participate but to actively influence and mold the direction of AI. Hence, it is of utmost importance that Nigerians prepare themselves for this impending transformation. According to the Director’s statement, the organization is making substantial investments in training and research grants for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Additionally, it is actively promoting the development of innovative solutions by its employees.
At NITDA, they are also working on enhancing their AI assistant to improve productivity and enhance their service delivery efficiency. In addition, it was pointed out by him that NITDA and various governmental entities have devoted a couple of years towards the development of policies that will regulate the utilization of artificial intelligence within the nation. Furthermore, they have been striving to create a comprehensive legislation that will ensure the utmost constructive implementation of AI for the betterment of the country.
Youthful Nigerians will receive valuable digital expertise.
Furthermore, the Director-General of NITDA expressed that the Nigerian government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications, has provided financial assistance to a minimum of 45 individuals from Nigeria. This diverse group includes researchers, entrepreneurs, and scholars who will delve into the study of artificial intelligence (AI) and devise effective policies and strategies for its seamless integration into different sectors within the country. Mr. Abdullahi noted that by jointly implementing the ‘Digital for all Challenge’ alongside the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, a significant number of youthful Nigerians will receive valuable digital expertise, consequently paving the way for Nigeria’s technological advancement.
This initiative is expected to have a far-reaching impact, influencing the lives of millions of individuals. In its second edition, this exciting competition on digital skilling is inviting participants from three distinct categories all over Nigeria. The primary goal is to commend individuals for their personal growth and motivate them to acquire and apply digital skills by offering enticing competitive rewards. Participating in this free digital skill-building competition and program has the potential to reward individuals with a whopping sum of one hundred and fifty million naira.
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The prime objective of this initiative is to promote digital literacy in Nigeria, while simultaneously encouraging individuals to acquire essential digital skills and certifications through online platforms. As stated by the program organizers, the endeavour will be divided into two distinct stages: the training period and the competition period. The Tech4Dev team, who are the brains behind this contest, have officially announced that participants must successfully complete an evaluation after the training phase in order to be eligible for the competition phase. There will be three stages for the competition phase: state, local, and grand finale on a national level.