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Nigeria Launches AI Research Initiative

The Nigerian government has launched an Artificial Intelligence Research initiative tagged 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) programme to boost Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani made this known in a post on X on Friday, 14th October 2023.

According to the Minister, the Scheme aims to support the mainstreaming of the application of Artificial Intelligence for economic prosperity.

This is a key part of our plans to achieve our objective of becoming a net exporter of talent and significantly grow our digital economy.

Tech Training Application for Nigerians Opens Friday

“We’ve launched the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme to fund 45 consortia of startups and researchers to allow them to explore further opportunities to deepen their work and build a sustainable AI ecosystem in Nigeria.

“We are inviting researchers and startups working in AI to apply for up to N5m (Five Million Naira) at this link airg.nitda.gov.ng/, as we build a strong foundation for our ministry’s efforts to drive innovation, increase productivity in critical sectors and position Nigeria as a global centre for AI technology application.

“The 3 Million Technical Talent (3MTT) programme, a critical part of the renewed Hope Agenda is aimed at building Nigeria’s technical  talent  backbone to power our digital economy and to position Nigeria as a net talent exporter.“

According to the information shared on the scheme’s website, the areas being looked at include Agriculture, Education and Workforce, Finance, Governance, Healthcare, Utility, and Sustainability.

“The program’s first phase will train 30,000 tech enthusiasts across Nigeria in the next three months. It’s inclusive, extending its reach to individuals over 45. The curriculum covers various areas, including software development, UI/UX design, data science, animation, AI/machine learning, and cybersecurity. It uses a hybrid training model that combines online and offline sessions.“

The applicant must be a consortium made up of a start-up or technology company, a Nigerian university researcher, or a foreign researcher to be qualified for the grant, according to the Ministry (among other eligibility criteria).

The application opens on October 13, 2023, and ends on November 15, 2023.

The Ministry said all applications must be submitted through the designated online channel provided.

It added that the proposals will be evaluated by a panel of AI experts, while shortlisted applicants will be notified via email and invited for an interview.

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