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June 23, 2024

NITDA to build Artificial Intelligence communities for technology consolidation

Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the agency is targeting to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) developers communities nationwide.

Inuwa in a statement by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head,Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency, said the community would help shape the future of technology in the country.

Inuwa revealed this while receiving instructors and some beneficiaries of NITDA AI Developers Training (NAIDT) in Abuja.

The training was organised by NITDA, through its subsidiary, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) in conjunction with Google Developers Group (GDG).

Inuwa said the programme, being the pilot phase in Abuja, had achieved its purpose and would be replicated in other states.

“The vision is to create a community of developers across the country where people can come,learn and after that, they can teach others or start their businesses and impact the society.

“I believe we can start with three states this year, then strategise on how to extend it to other states; with time, extend it to local government areas.

“This is driven by my firm belief that in Nigeria, our most valuable asset as a nation is our human capital,” he said.
He added that the NAIDT platform could be used to create indigenous super applications like generative AI and language modelling, then a Proof-of-Concept (POC) could be done with NITDA and then escalated government-wide.

According to him, it will encourage government’s digitisation agenda.
“Digitising government services will help the government save costs, as well as improve the efficiency of service delivery,” he said.

Mr Ya’u Garba, National Director NCAIR, said the initiative which was one year old was aimed at training one million developers under the theme: “Learn, Teach, and Earn.”

Garba revealed that the training consisted of three levels which included Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced.
He said: “in the basics, we teach what is necessary to become a good programmer, we teach Python which is the language science.

“From Python, most of them come back for the intermediate, where they are equipped with the necessary skills to start their journey in the IT world.
“Then we have the advanced, which is problem-based for people that want to move forward.”

Mr Ibrahim Muhammed, a representative of the Google Developers Group (GDG) appreciated the director general and NITDA for their unwavering support throughout the training programme.
The programme had created instructors, startups, and secured job opportunities for participants.

The programme recorded 1227 beneficiaries across 10 Cohorts that went through series of coaching and lectures to develop programming skills in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.(NAN)

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