• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

FG to develop AI regulation for Nigeria, Africa

Language won’t keep Northern Nigeria away from AI train

…aims to become AI super global world power

By Ladi Patrick-Okwoli

The Federal Government is set to develop a policy that will regulate technology and help transform Nigeria into a hub for pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Bosun Tijani, the minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, who disclosed this at a national artificial intelligence strategy workshop on Monday in Abuja, said it would leave no stone unturned to ensure that Nigeria has a voice in the development and regulations of AI at the global stage.

Read also: Artificial Intelligence is here to stay but is Africa ready?

The minister said given the fact that there would soon be a global convergence on the ways and manners AI was developed and deployed by global powers, it has become imperative for Nigeria to be an active participant.

The workshop had the theme, “Developing the high-level strategy and implementation plan for a national AI strategy for Nigeria.” It attracted at least 120 local and international organisations and professional groups, including the academia.

“Digital technology is a reality in Asia, America, and Europe. The reality should be the same in Nigeria and Africa. We cannot afford to be left behind.

“The US, UK and Asia all have input on how AI is developed and regulated. Right now, there are lots of silos regarding the ways and manners AI is developed and applied. And in a short while, there will be a convergence on AI systems, so Nigeria should be part of that global superpower 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 would enhance our knowledge, skills, participation, development, deployment, etc.”

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

“Any technology that has the 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 would mean to humanity as a whole”, Tijani asserted.

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

Kashifu Inuwa, the director-general, NITDA, in his remarks, said Nigeria should benefit from the global AI market which would be worth an estimated $15.7trn by 2030.

Inuwa explained that the AI industry would add between 2.7 to $4.6 trillion to the global economy before 2030, adding that it was an opportunity Nigeria should not miss.

The workshop was organised by the ministry in conjunction with NITDA, the Nigeria Communications Commission, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence, the Galaxy Backbone, Google and other Development Partners.