December 4, 2019

Why Data science can’t grow without government support

Why Data science can’t grow without government support

…as Terragon fingers weak curriculum, poor access to data to undermine 4th industrial revolution

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

The fourth Industrial revolution appears a huge bug catching on countries of the world, particularly the developing ones.

It is a revolution that will ensure a regime of machines replacing human labour in many respects.

Nigeria’s Telecommunication: Buhari endorses 5G trial(Opens in a new browser tab)

It is going to be a machine world. It is going to be heavily data based and production and services are going to be delivered at the speed of whirlwind.

Algorithms and data analytics are going to be the hallmarks and those who have the knowledge are going to be driving the economy.

This is where Nigeria appears to have a big problem. To fit into this means that data knowledge needs to improve. The easiest way is have the evolution from the school systems by growing data sciences.

Unfortunately, that appears to be far fetched in the Nigerian universities today.

However, tech company, Terragon, says the only way out is government involvement.

It is urging governments at all levels to partner with the private sector to develop 21st century curriculum that would prepare Nigerian students to fit into the fourth industrial revolution.

Nigerian youths need to be equipped with such technologies as Artificial Intelligence, AI, Data Science, among others.

Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of the company, Mr. Ayodeji Balogun, at the 2019 Data Science Nigeria, DSN, AI Summit and Bootcamp in Lagos recently, said the existing curriculum in the Nigerian educational system requires some adjustments to enable the young generation to learn new technologies.

He advised that the government can work together with private sector to influence the curriculum and infuse more advanced topics around data science, machine learning so that students could get access and hands-on experience at a very early stage, before they get out of school.

Balogun also called on the government to provide adequate infrastructure that would enable players in the ecosystem perform their duties optimally.

He said: “The biggest problems, I think, we have in Nigeria, is access to data and infrastructure. In other countries,  the government provides access to some sample data sets that engineers work with, to train their models; here in Nigeria, there’s nothing like that, so we think that the government can support a lot in that area.”

“In a continent of about 1.2 billion people across a landscape that may be larger than many other continents put together, it is often quite difficult to identify and reach people in Africa. At Terragon, our goal is to use data and technology to simplify this process of connecting brands to the African consumer through intelligent connections at scale on the mobile device.

How viable tech ecosystem can facilitate Nigeria’s economic growth(Opens in a new browser tab)

“We rely heavily on data, and leverage data science to enable smart connections to mobile for businesses across Africa. Data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are the tools of our trade. This is why partnering with the Data Science Nigeria AI Summit and Bootcamp was very natural for us, as it aligns with our key objectives and goals. It has been very rewarding for us because we have been able to contribute to the growth of the ecosystem as well as the emerging talents that will lead us into the future.”