HM, FMCIDE, Dr. Bosun Tijani (right) alongside the DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE (left) at the National AI Strategy workshop
HM, FMCIDE, Dr. Bosun Tijani (right) alongside the DG NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE (left) at the National AI Strategy workshop

FG Unveils local language model for AI development

In a groundbreaking announcement, Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, unveiled the country’s National Artificial Intelligence Strategy (NAIS) following a successful workshop attended by over 120 AI experts.

The workshop aimed to devise a comprehensive policy for integrating AI technologies into Nigeria’s developmental framework.Among the key initiatives revealed by Tijani is the establishment of a Language Model for Nigeria (LMN), which will focus on training in five low-resource languages alongside English, enhancing language diversity in AI datasets crucial for developing effective AI solutions.

Furthermore, Tijani disclosed that over 7,000 fellows from the Ministry’s Three Million Technical Talent (3MTT) program would contribute to the LMN project, signaling a collaborative effort to bolster AI capabilities in the country.

In a bid to accelerate AI projects of national importance, a strategic partnership between 21st Century Technologies and the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) was announced.

This collaboration includes funding for the acquisition of graphics processing units (GPUs) to bolster national computing capacity, with resources made accessible to local researchers, startups, and government entities at the GBB data center in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Additionally, the relaunch of NCAIR, supported by CISCO, heralds an era of enhanced research and development in emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Tijani expressed confidence that the bolstered capacity at NCAIR would enable it to effectively drive digital innovation and research initiatives aligned with Nigeria’s national interests.

The unveiling of NAIS and the array of initiatives underscore Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing the transformative potential of AI, positioning the country as a frontrunner in digital innovation and technological advancement on the African continent.