Nigeria: Minister Bosun Tijani Spearheads National AI Strategy Workshop with Over 120 Delegates

Minister Bosun Tijani Spearheads National AI Strategy Workshop with Over 120 Delegates
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On August 28, 2023, the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, led by Dr. Bosun Tijani, teased the upcoming National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS). This initiative underscores the pivotal role AI is expected to play in transforming various sectors and boosting economic growth. Recent studies, including a 2018 report by PwC, suggest that AI could add as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 through enhancements in productivity and the introduction of new products and services. Furthermore, the International Finance Corporation anticipates AI could contribute an additional $234 billion to Africa’s GDP by the same year.

Nigeria, with its robust and growing tech startup ecosystem—which garnered 25% of the $1.3 billion invested in African tech startups in 2021—is well-placed to harness AI for economic diversification and inclusive growth. As a leader in African innovation, the country aims to develop a national strategy that utilizes AI for sustainable development while addressing the socio-technical challenges that accompany its governance. These include concerns about ethics, bias, transparency, job automation, and privacy.

A human-centered approach is deemed crucial to ensure that AI systems are equitable and accountable, respecting differences in gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. The goal of the NAIS is to guide the AI revolution in Nigeria towards enhancing job creation, social inclusion, and sustainable development, emphasizing ethical and inclusive AI practices that benefit all citizens.

Today, Minister Tijani leads a delegation of over 120 participants to a national workshop aimed at shaping Nigeria’s AI strategy. This gathering in Abuja draws notable figures from diverse backgrounds, including:

  • Innovators who have developed ICT platforms serving millions and those who have created cutting-edge robotic technologies.
  • Academics and researchers recognized globally for their contributions to AI and digital technologies.
  • Professionals holding significant patents and publications who have implemented numerous digital solutions globally.
  • Award-winning talents who have leveraged AI to address global challenges and enhance data infrastructure for critical health reporting.

In a recent post on his X handle, Minister Tijani expressed his enthusiasm for the talent gathered for the workshop, stating, “The quality of talent of Nigerian descent available in the field of Artificial Intelligence is quite inspiring. I was pleased to welcome our 120+ delegates coming from within and outside Nigeria as we kick off our National Artificial Intelligence Strategy Workshop. #NAIS #NigerianExcellence.”

He also acknowledged the support of various partners and expressed gratitude towards President Bola Tinubu’s administration for backing this transformative initiative.

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