NITDA Commits to Boosting AI Startups in Nigeria

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In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining the boundaries of innovation, Nigeria is not left behind. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has taken a bold step forward.

Under the leadership of Director General Kashifu Inuwa CCIE, NITDA has pledged support to startups dedicated to advancing AI research in Nigeria.

This commitment aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, which aims to fast-track the country’s diversification through industrialization and digitization.

During the recent Innovate Nigeria 2024 Conference & Expo in Lagos, Inuwa’s message was clear: the government is on board to fuel the AI revolution in Nigeria.

Represented by Dr. Aristotle Onumo, Inuwa’s keynote address at the Landmark Event Centre highlighted the critical role of governmental support in pushing the boundaries of AI research and its significant implications for Nigeria’s economic future.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect. As AI’s global impact grows, Nigeria recognizes its potential to transform every aspect of life. Inuwa referenced international trends, noting substantial investments in AI by global leaders like the US and China.

These investments not only underscore AI’s innovation drive but also its capacity to spur economic growth, with its market value expected to exceed $190 billion by 2025.

Inuwa detailed the Nigerian government’s multifaceted approach to nurturing AI’s development. This strategy includes direct research and development funding, establishing collaborative ecosystems, crafting supportive policies, fostering international partnerships, and promoting education and workforce development.

These efforts are squarely in line with the government’s 8-point agenda, particularly the focus on creating an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship flourish.

The 7th agenda point, emphasizing diversification through industrialization, digitization, and innovation, reflected the government’s commitment to making digital services more accessible, thereby unlocking economic value.

Inuwa also shed light on NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, aiming to improve Nigeria’s position in AI research globally while fostering digital literacy and talent development.

Collaboration is key. Inuwa emphasized the importance of partnerships in funding research and nurturing a dynamic innovation ecosystem.

The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, a NITDA subsidiary, operates round the clock, providing guidance, support, and resources to startups from concept to commercialization.

Conclusively, Inuwa’s message was one of optimism and call to action. The transformative potential of AI in driving economic prosperity is immense.

By working together, the government and the AI ecosystem can explore new knowledge frontiers, positioning Nigeria as a leader in the global AI landscape.

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