May 7, 2024

Nigeria Launches Its Own AI Model That Is Trained In Multiple Indigenous Languages

Minister Bosun Tijani

Nigeria has launched its first multilingual Large Language Model (LLM), announced Minister Bosun Tijani of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy. 

The initiative took place following a comprehensive four-day AI workshop in Abuja.

The multilingual LLM is developed with local AI firm Awarritech, global tech entity DataDotOrg, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the National Centre for AI and Robotics (NCAIR).

Capitalizing on a Growing Market

With predictions from Statista that the AI market could reach $890 millon in 2024 and expand to $8.75 billion by 2030, Nigeria’s investment in AI technology has come at the right time.

“The LLM will be trained in five low-resource languages and accented English to ensure stronger language representation in existing data sets for developing artificial intelligence solutions,” said Minister Tijani.

“The project will also be supported by over 7,000 fellows from the 3MTT Nigeria program.

The development aims to promote inclusivity while ensuring that the benefits of AI advancements are accessible across diverse linguistic groups in Nigeria.

Building a Robust AI Strategy and International Collaboration

The launch coincides with Nigeria drafting its initial National AI Strategy, fueled by insights from over 120 AI experts during the workshop. 

Various partners, including UNDP, UNESCO, and major tech giants like Meta, Google, and Microsoft, have secured $3.5 million in seed funding. 

This funding is expected to advance the strategy, with $1.5 million in direct funding and an additional $2 million invested by 21st Century Technologies in the pilot program.

Additionally, Nigeria is preparing for international collaboration, particularly with the United States, to ensure the secure and trustworthy deployment of AI technologies.

Article Tags : , , , , ,
Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.