July 8, 2024

Nigeria To Establish New Research Centers For AI, Blockchain, IoT And More


Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has unveiled plans to establish research centers for emerging technologies across the country’s six geopolitical zones.

The technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, aimed to build a technology research ecosystem.

Fostering Innovation and Development

Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of NITDA, announced the initiative at the IoT West Africa Conference held in Lagos. 

Represented by Aristotle Onumo, NITDA’s Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy, Inuwa emphasized that the new research centers align with the agency’s mission to support technological advancements and economic growth. 

These centers will serve as innovation sandboxes, enabling innovators to develop practical use cases, launch businesses, and bring their products to market.

The initiative focuses on several key areas: IoT, blockchain technology, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), additive manufacturing, AI, and robotics. 

NITDA’s support extends to Nigerian startups developing products in these cutting-edge fields, enhancing the country’s technological landscape.

Building Technical Talent

Highlighting the agency’s newly crafted SRAP 2.0, which is anchored on 8 pillars, Inuwa said that “we look at digital literacy from the perspective of getting Nigerians to use IT safely and responsibly and we have a target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030.”

“The second part of it is the Talent and we have started training with the 3MTT initiative. Our target is to reach 3 million by the end of 2027 and the goal is not jus to train but to connect them with jobs.”

In addition to the research centers, the Nigerian government recenty launched its first multilingual large language model (LLM). This LLM will be trained in five low-resource languages and accented English, supported by fellows from the 3MTT program.

Feature Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria

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.