Nigeria ‘ll Lead Africa in Developing, Regulating AI Globally- FG

The Federal Government says it will ensure that Nigeria has a voice in the development and regulations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on global stage.

The government said it became imperative for Nigeria to be an active participant, considering that there would soon be global convergence on the ways AI were developed and deployed by global powers.

The Minister of Communications, Innovations and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, made the remarks on Monday at the opening ceremony of a workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in Abuja.

The theme of a four-day workshop is “Developing the High Level Strategy and Implementation Plan for a National AI Strategy for Nigeria’’

Tijani said digital technology was a reality in Asia, America, and the Europe, adding that the reality should be the same in Nigeria and Africa as Nigeria could not afford to be left behind. Naira to Appreciate to N1200 vs US Dollar -Goldman Sachs

“The US, UK and Asia have inputs on how AI is developed and regulated. Right now, there are lots of silos regarding the ways and manners AI are developed and applied.

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“And in a short while, there will be a convergence on AI systems, so Nigeria should be part of that global super power in the development and regulations of AI.

“AI is going to change the narratives in all areas of human endeavours and we are here to develop a strategic roadmap that will enhance our knowledge, skills, participation, development, and deployment.

“Any technology that has potential of a watchdog on how we think and what we do, our goals should not be restricted to what we get as a nation but what it will mean to humanity as a whole.”

Tijani, who praised sponsors of the programme and other development partners, said Nigeria should show leadership from the perspective of Africa on how AI was deployed.

He said the workshop was expected to come up with far reaching and deep resolutions and strategies on the way forward for adoption and deployment of AI in Nigeria.

He said the approach was fundamental because it would help the country to use its diversity and expertise to create an inclusive strategy and also reflect the nation’s consensus. “For me when we look at this AI, it is not just strategic to AI but the need to develop a strategy in AI,” he said.

Earlier, Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the approach was vital because it would help diversify the nation’s economy.

“AI is beyond just looking at it as a technology but a transformational technology that we can apply across sectors to boost the economy.

“If we get it right, it will help us to achieve a lot as a nation. We can use AI to develop economic diversification strategies in Nigeria and Africa. “So, we can design our economy diversification strategy with AI in mind.

“The approach is fundamental because it will help us to use our diversity and expertise to create a strategy that is inclusive and also reflect our consensus.’’ He also urged the participants to develop strategy on national security.

The workshop was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

Others were the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), Galaxy Backbone, (GBB), Google and other Development Partners.

No fewer than 120 local and international organisations and professional groups, including the academia are participating in the workshop.

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