The Federal Government has been urged to prioritise industry collaboration with the private sector to develop a 21st Century curriculum that focuses on preparing Nigerian students to fit into the emerging fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science, among others.
“We think that in terms of curriculum in the educational system in our schools, government can work together with private sector to influence the curriculum and infuse more advanced topics around data science, machine learning so that students could get access and hands on experience at a very early stage, before they get out of school and get trained by their employers,” Ayodeji Balogun, co-founder and chief operations officer, Terragon Group, said.
Balogun made the observation at the 2019 Data Science Nigeria (DSN) Summit and Boot camp held recently in Lagos, where he called on government to provide adequate infrastructure that would enable players in the ecosystem perform optimally.
“The biggest problems we have in Nigeria as far as I’m concerned, is access to data and infrastructure. In other countries, the government provides access to some sample data sets that engineers can work with to train their models; you don’t have to think about looking for data sets, here in Nigeria, there’s nothing like that, so we think that government can support a lot in that area.
“In a continent of about 1.2 billion people across a landscape that may be larger than many other continents put together, it is often quite difficult to identify and reach people in Africa. At Terragon, our goal is to use data and technology to simplify this process of connecting brands to the African consumer through intelligent connections at scale on the mobile device,” Balogun said.
According to him, Terragon relies very heavily on data, and leverages data science to enable smart connections to mobile for businesses across Africa. Data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning are among the tools deployed by the tech company.
“This is why partnering with the Data Science Nigeria AI Summit and Boot camp was critical to its business strategy, as it aligns with Terragon key objectives and goals,” he said.
Balogun commended the conveners of DSN for the giant’s strides they have made in the sector, especially in the area of democratising AI knowledge through various programmes in tertiary institutions.
SEYI JOHN SALAU