NITDA to Establish Emerging Tech Research Centers Across Nigeria

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has unveiled plans to set up research centres for emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.

Kashifu Inuwa, NITDA’s Director General, announced this during the IoT West Africa Conference in Lagos. Represented by Aristotle Onumo, NITDA’s Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy, Inuwa emphasised that this move aligns with the agency’s goal of building a strong tech research ecosystem.

The initiative aims to foster development and create innovation sandboxes, where innovators can develop use cases, establish businesses, and bring their products to market. NITDA’s research focus includes IoT, blockchain, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), additive manufacturing, AI, and robotics. The agency also plans to support Nigerian startups working on these technologies.

Inuwa also highlighted NITDA’s role in talent development through the federal government’s 3MTT program. Launched by the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, in November 2023, the 3MTT program aims to train three million technical talents by 2027.

The IoT West Africa Conference, held alongside the Africa Data Center and Cloud Expo Africa, was hosted in Nigeria due to the country’s large youth population and thriving startup ecosystem. The event aimed to attract investors to support local startups developing innovative products in emerging technologies.

Moreover, the Nigerian government has launched its first multilingual large language model (LLM) in collaboration with local AI firms, including NITDA and the National Centre for AI and Robotics (NCAIR). This LLM will be trained in five low-resource languages and accented English, with support from fellows of the 3MTT Nigeria program.

Hi, I’m Damife Isaac

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *