Nigeria Receives $3.5M Seed Funding for National AI Strategy

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The Nigerian government is advocating for the establishment of an African Council for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and has received $3.5 million in seed funding to support AI strategy efforts from various partners.

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Minister of Communications, Innovations, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, emphasized the importance of a unified approach to AI deployment in Africa with consistent regulations and market standards.

Tijani made these statements during the conclusion of an international workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy for Nigeria, attended by over 120 global experts, researchers, academics, and professionals.

Regarding the funding, Dr. Tijani disclosed that the $3.5 million was contributed by partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and local entities like Lagos Business School and Data Science Nigeria under the ministry’s supervision.

The funding includes $1.5 million in direct support and an additional $2 million invested in a pilot program by 21st Century Technologies.

Tijani emphasized the collective efforts of local and foreign partners in achieving Nigeria’s AI strategy goals, noting the necessity of preparing citizens for the future impact of AI.

The AI Collective for Growth initiative, led by NITDA and Lagos Business School, will oversee the funding for the next three years to advance AI development in Nigeria.

Director-General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, expressed optimism that a well-implemented AI strategy would pave the way for Nigeria to achieve its development objectives, echoing the transformative potential of AI in various sectors, from healthcare to agriculture.


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