Minister lures 120 AI experts across the world to Nigeria for workshop

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He highlighted the efforts of the ministry to engage with experts and stakeholders from around the world in co-creating the nation’s AI strategy.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, says the upcoming National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy Workshop will attract 120 experts across the world.

Tijani said this in a statement signed by his Aide on Media and Communications, Isime Esene, in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, the 3-day workshop is scheduled to be held in Abuja from April 15 to April 18.

He said that the workshop, supported by Luminate, would bring together 120 leading Nigerian AI researchers and practitioners, technology companies, civil society organisations and other groups to co-create a comprehensive national AI strategy.

The minister noted that the workshop would leverage a Human-Centred Design (HCD) approach to formulate a strategy focused on the needs of Nigerian citizens and communities.

“The need to coordinate and harness the power of AI for national development is a critical element in our journey towards using technology to accelerate productivity in our country.

“AI offers us the opportunity to leverage technology to solve some of our most complex and urgent challenges in education, agriculture, healthcare and more,” he said.

He highlighted the efforts of the ministry to engage with experts and stakeholders from around the world in co-creating the nation’s AI strategy.

“From the National AI Research Scheme (NAIRS) to the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technology Application (4IRTA) Demonstration project

“We have worked with these talented academics and entrepreneurs toward mainstreaming the application of AI in our everyday lives,” He said

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He said that the expected outcome from the workshop would be a draft national AI strategy document

According to Tijani, the document will define the strategic imperatives, policies, investments, implementation roadmap, governance structures, and necessary steps to catalyse Nigeria into an AI-driven economy.

He said partners and organisations supporting the workshop included the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Others are Meta, Google, Microsoft, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), and Galaxy Backbone.

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