August 28, 2023

Communications Minister invites researchers to develop AI strategy

Communications Minister invites researchers to develop AI strategy

Bosun Tijani

By Biodun Busari

The Federal Government has issued an invite to Nigerian and non-Nigerian top researchers across the globe to help the country design its National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

FG made this known through posts by the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, via X, on Monday.

According to Tijani, the invitation is necessary in reaching out to researchers who have records of working in the Nigerian market.

“We’re curating a list of the top researchers of Nigerian descent from all over the world to join us in co-creating a National AI Strategy. The strategy will help shape our approach to building innovative tech solutions to our most pressing national problems.

“If there are any researchers you know, Nigerian and non-Nigerian, who have done some work on the Nigerian market, please share in the comments,” Tijani said.

In addition to the posts, the minister shared a whitepaper further explaining the objective of the federal government on the National AI Strategy.

“A National AI Strategy for Nigeria is to responsibly steer the AI revolution towards achieving national goals around job creation, social inclusion, and sustainable development becomes imperative,” the whitepaper revealed.

It stated that, “The International Finance Corporation projects that the strategic adoption of Al could add up to $234 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2030. 

“Nigeria in this loop is considered to have a fast-growing technology start-up ecosystem (having attracted 25% of the $1.3 billion funding to African tech start-ups in 2021) and with proactive leadership, is well-positioned to leverage Al for economic diversification and inclusive growth. 

“As an innovation leader on the African continent, Nigeria needs to develop a national strategy to harness the power of Al for sustainable development.

“However, along with the opportunities, Al governance also poses some complex socio-technical challenges. 

“As algorithms are deployed in high-stakes domains like healthcare, finance, and security, concerns are emerging around ethics, bias, transparency, job automation, and privacy. Both policymakers and researchers are of a consensus that a human-centred approach is essential to ensure Al systems are fair and accountable to all, across gender, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.”