Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, is inviting top AI researchers of Nigerian descent to help develop a National AI Strategy.
Tijani said: “A National AI Strategy for Nigeria to responsibly steer the AI revolution towards achieving national goals around job creation, social inclusion and sustainable development becomes imperative.”
The strategy aims to use AI to advance agriculture, healthcare, financial inclusion, smart cities, education, environment, cybersecurity and government efficiency. Tijani wants to “pioneer ethical and inclusive AI innovation that improves welfare and expands opportunities for all.”
To identify researchers, Tijani’s ministry analysed AI publications and used machine learning to predict Nigerian heritage. This yielded 100 likely researchers. But Tijani acknowledged that “about 4 in 100 cases” could be false positives.
Therefore, the ministry seeks “wider public participation in refining the researcher list” through crowdsourcing. Tijani explained the goal is to tap researchers “who possess experience in working within the Nigerian market” to incorporate “insights from those who have previously engaged with the Nigerian market.”
Ultimately, the collaborative strategy strives to “enhance the tech landscape” and lead to “more effective and impactful innovations.” Tijani stressed that AI adoption is “crucial for economic growth,” with the potential to add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
With Nigeria poised to lead Africa’s AI revolution, Tijani sees an opportunity to guide development while optimising benefits for society responsibly. By tapping global expertise, the National AI Strategy can maximise opportunities for Nigerians through job creation, improved services and sustainable, inclusive growth.