NITDA to establish AI developer communities across Nigeria

Bisola David
Bisola David
Nigeria can become global talent exporter, says NITDA DG

The National Information Technology Development Agency, a branch of the federal government, has announced intentions to establish developer communities for artificial intelligence all around the nation.

This information was provided by the Director-General of NITDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, at a meeting with instructors and some NAIDT participants in Abuja.

He believes that the local communities would contribute to determining how technology would develop in the nation.

The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, a division of NITDA, and the Google Developers Group collaborated to organize the AI training. According to Inuwa, the program’s pilot phase in Abuja was successful and it would be reproduced in other states.

Kashifu emphasized the government’s objectives for Nigerian AI developers.

“The goal is to establish a nationwide community of developers where individuals can gather, gain knowledge, and then go on to mentor others, launch their own ventures, and have a positive social influence.

I think we can begin this year with three states, then plan how to expand it to the other states and, eventually, to local government units.

This is motivated by my steadfast conviction that human capital is Nigeria’s most precious resource as a country.

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

The National Director of NCAIR, Mr. Ya’u Garba, also spoke during the event. He stated that the initiative, 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 fundamentals, we teach Python, which is the language science, along with other skills required to become a skilled programmer.

The majority of them return to Python for the intermediate, where they are given the tools they need to begin their careers in IT.

The advanced is for those who want to advance, and it is problem-based, he continued.

A representative of the Google Developers Group, Mr. Ibrahim Muhammed, thanked the director general and NITDA for their consistent support throughout the training program.

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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