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FG: Nigeria should be key player in global regulation, development of AI

FG: Nigeria should be key player in global regulation, development of AI
April 15
21:18 2024

The federal government says Nigeria should be part of the global superpower developing and regulating artificial intelligence (AI).

Bosun Tijani, minister of communications, innovations and digital economy, spoke on Monday at the opening ceremony of a four-day workshop on national artificial intelligence strategy in Abuja.

The theme of the workshop is titled “Developing the High Level Strategy and Implementation Plan for a National AI Strategy for Nigeria”.

Tijani said it is important for Nigeria to be an active participant, considering the imminent convergence on AI by global powers.

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He said digital technology is a reality in Asia, America, and Europe, adding that Nigeria and Africa should also embrace this reality to avoid being left behind.

“The US, UK and Asia have inputs on how AI is developed and regulated. Right now, there are lots of silos regarding the ways and manners AI are developed and applied,” the minister said.

“And in a short while, there will be a convergence on AI systems, so Nigeria should be part of that global super power in the development and regulations of AI.

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“AI is going to change the narratives in all areas of human endeavours and we are here to develop a strategic roadmap that will enhance our knowledge, skills, participation, development, and deployment.

“Any technology that has potential of a watchdog on how we think and what we do, our goals should not be restricted to what we get as a nation but what it will mean to humanity as a whole.”

Tijani commended the sponsors of the program and other development partners, stressing that Nigeria should take the lead in Africa regarding the deployment of AI.

According to the minister, the workshop aims to generate comprehensive resolutions and strategies for the adoption and deployment of AI in Nigeria.

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He said the approach is fundamental as it would enable the country to leverage its diversity and expertise to develop an inclusive strategy that reflects the nation’s consensus.

Also speaking, Kashifu Abdullahi, director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the approach is necessary as it would help diversify the nation’s economy.

“AI is beyond just looking at it as a technology but a transformational technology that we can apply across sectors to boost the economy,” he said.

“If we get it right, it will help us to achieve a lot as a nation. We can use AI to develop economic diversification strategies in Nigeria and Africa.

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“So, we can design our economy diversification strategy with AI in mind.

“The approach is fundamental because it will help us to use our diversity and expertise to create a strategy that is inclusive and also reflect our consensus.”

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Abdullahi encouraged the participants to develop a strategy for national security.

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