Bosun Tijani Announces Strategic Partnerships to Propel Technological Innovation

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Dr. Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister for Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, recently unveiled strategic alliances with industry titans such as Cisco, 21st Century Technologies (including Awarri), and DataDotOrg. These partnerships were announced during a celebratory dinner marking the culmination of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS) Workshop in Abuja, a four-day event focused on shaping Nigeria’s technological future.

Themed “Developing the High-Level Strategy and Implementation Plan for a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy for Nigeria,” the workshop aimed to tailor a strategy catering to the evolving needs of Nigerian citizens amidst the rapid advancement of technology. Tijani underscored the global spotlight on artificial intelligence (AI) and the burgeoning tech investments within Nigeria.

Highlighting the pivotal role of these collaborations, Tijani stressed their potential to propel technological innovation and fortify Nigeria’s digital economy. Among the key initiatives outlined by Tijani are:

Relaunch of the National Centre for A.I. and Robotics (NCAIR): Serving as a hub for digital innovation and research, NCAIR focuses on cutting-edge technologies such as AI, robotics, drones, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to revolutionize Nigeria’s digital landscape. Cisco will contribute by supporting capacity-building initiatives at NCAIR.

Development of a Nigerian Multilingual Large Language Model: This project aims to cultivate robust AI models by harnessing high-quality Nigerian language data, backed by Awarri, NITDA, and DataDotOrg.

Implementation of Nigeria’s Computing Infrastructure Pilot: Aiming to strengthen Nigeria’s technological backbone, this initiative seeks to enhance the nation’s computing infrastructure, paving the way for sustainable digital growth.

Establishment of the A.I. Collective: This platform aims to foster collaboration and innovation within Nigeria’s AI ecosystem, driving forward-thinking initiatives and nurturing local talent in the field.

Through these endeavors, Dr. Bosun Tijani and his partners aspire to not only position Nigeria at the forefront of technological innovation but also empower its citizens to thrive in the digital age.

”The computing infrastructure pilot, developed in partnership with Galaxy Backbone Limited and 21st Century Technologies, will accelerate the development of A.I. projects of national interest and be accessible through NCAIR.

”The A.I. Collective, a community of practice, aims to harness the power of A.I. to drive economic prosperity, accelerate innovation, and position Nigeria as a leading force in A.I. globally,” the minister said.

During the workshop’s closing, Dr. Bosun Tijani extended gratitude to stakeholders for their invaluable contributions and emphasized the transformative potential of cutting-edge technologies like AI in enhancing productivity and fostering collective prosperity. The workshop garnered support from a diverse array of local and international organizations, including Luminate, Google, Meta, Microsoft, NITDA, NCAIR, NCC, UNESCO, UNDP, Galaxy Backbone Limited, and USPF.

In a parallel development, the United States of America (USA) and Nigeria are poised to engage in dialogues concerning the digital economy, emerging technology, and the development and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), with the aim of exploring avenues for collaboration. Mr. Arthur Brown, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, disclosed this exciting prospect during the workshop’s conclusion. Brown further revealed plans for high-level U.S. government officials to convene in Abuja for a conference under the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission in less than two weeks, signaling a significant step towards fostering bilateral cooperation in the realm of technology and innovation.

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