As the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) begins this week, Nigeria is presenting itself as a hub for AI training and requesting additional funding for the technology’s development.
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, described his purpose at the UNGA by saying that the country is positioning itself as a centre for technology innovation and sustainable development.
“Nigeria brims with a vibrant pool of talent, potential and innovation. We aspire to put Nigeria on the global map as a premier destination for AI model training,” Tijani said.
“Not only does this promise significant job creation, but it also emphasises our commitment to enhancing the inclusivity and robustness of AI datasets. We envision capturing the nuances of dark data from the global south, ensuring that AI solutions resonate with a diverse spectrum of lived experiences.”
Another priority area for Tijani is expanding the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF).
The Federal Government of Nigeria established USPF to enable national policy goals for universal access and universal service to ICTs in rural, un-served and under-served areas.
“Connectivity is a catalyst for progress. As we work towards bridging the digital divide, we seek partnerships to boost the USPF. We aim to connect many unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria, fostering inclusivity and ensuring that every Nigerian benefits from the digital revolution,” he said.
Tijani also said Nigeria is accelerating economic diversification through technology as per the agenda of the country president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which champions economic diversification powered by technological applications.
Tijani said: “Our mission at the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy is clear – catalyse the productivity of critical sectors using technology. To this end, we are pursuing partnerships to increase capital inflow to Nigerian startups via foreign direct investments, bolstering our entrepreneurial ecosystem and setting the stage for sustainable growth.”