Nigeria is set to build an AI ecosystem for a million local devolpers

AI Basics

According to Nairametrics, a Nigerian news outlet, the NITDA Director-General, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, revealed this while meeting with instructors and some NITDA AI Developers Training (NAIDT) participants in Abuja. He believed that the local communities would contribute to determining how technology would develop in the nation.

The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), a division of NITDA, and the Google Developers Group (GDG) collaborated to conduct the AI training. According to Inuwa, the program’s trial phase in Abuja was successful and it will be reproduced in other states.

“The vision is to create a community of developers across the country where people can come, learn, and after that, they can teach others or start their businesses and impact society,” the director general said.

“I believe we can start with three states this year, then strategize on how to extend it to other states; with time, extend it to local government areas. This is driven by my firm belief that in Nigeria, our most valuable asset as a nation is our human capital,” he added.

The NAIDT platform, he continued, could be used to develop homegrown super applications like generative AI and language modeling, which could then be tested using NITDA before being scaled up across the government. It will support the government’s digitalization plan, he claims.

The National Director of NCAIR, Mr. Ya’u Garba, also spoke during the event. He stated that the project, which has been in existence for a year, aims to teach one million developers under the slogan “Learn, Teach, and Earn.” According to Garba, there were three stages of training: Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.

“In the basics, we teach what is necessary to become a good programmer, we teach Python which is the language science. From Python, most of them come back for the intermediate, where they are equipped with the necessary skills to start their journey in the IT world. Then we have the advanced, which is problem-based for people that want to move forward,” he said.

The director general and NITDA received praise from Mr. Ibrahim Muhammed, a representative of the Google Developers Group (GDG), for their consistent support during the training course.

Participants now have access to businesses, instructors, and jobs thanks to the program. Through a series of coaching sessions and lectures, the program’s 1227 beneficiaries from 10 Cohorts learned how to program in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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