DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE
DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE

FG to Establish AI, Blockchain Research Centers Across Six Geo-Political Zones

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has announced plans to establish advanced research centers across the country’s six geo-political zones. These centers will focus on innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain technology.

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director-General of NITDA, made this revelation at the IoT West Africa Conference. He detailed that the research centers would also explore unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), additive manufacturing, and robotics.

Inuwa emphasized that these specialized centers are designed to propel advancements in these burgeoning sectors.

In addition to fostering research, NITDA aims to support Nigerian startups developing products based on these cutting-edge technologies.

The agency plans to create innovation sandboxes, providing startups with the resources to develop practical applications and bring their ideas to market, thus supporting the growth of new businesses in the tech sector.

A critical component of NITDA’s initiative is its participation in the federal government’s 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program. This ambitious program aims to train and empower three million Nigerians with technical skills by 2027.

While some of these skilled individuals may pursue opportunities abroad, their expertise is expected to enhance Nigeria’s global talent pool and potentially increase remittances, thereby strengthening the national economy.

During the IoT West Africa Conference held in Lagos, Shitij Taneja, Managing Director of Vertex Next, emphasized Nigeria’s potential to become “Africa’s Silicon Valley.”

Taneja pointed out that Nigeria’s large youth population and vibrant startup ecosystem position the country as a leader in technological development within Africa.

The conference highlighted Nigeria’s increasing significance in the tech industry, drawing substantial investment and fostering the development of IoT and other emerging technologies.

Co-located with the Africa Data Center and Cloud Expo, the event showcased cutting-edge technologies and underscored the critical role of the telecoms industry in the region’s economic growth and digital adoption.

By spotlighting Lagos as a strategic hub for technology and innovation, the conference mirrored Nigeria’s rapid technological progress and burgeoning digital economy. The event aimed to attract investor support for Nigerian startups, further solidifying the country’s standing in the global tech industry.

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