In a remarkable move towards technological advancement, Nigeria has introduced the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme. The scheme, spearheaded by the Nigerian Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, aims to revolutionize the country’s economic landscape by leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence.
Minister Tijani took to social media to announce that the Nigerian government is set to grant a total of 5 million naira (approximately $6,444) to 45 AI-focused startups and researchers. This financial injection is a key component of the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, which is specifically designed to foster the widespread adoption of AI technologies in various sectors to boost economic advancement.
The scheme’s focus areas are broad and cover key sectors such as agriculture, education, finance, governance, healthcare, utility, and sustainability. To qualify for these grants, applicants are required to form a consortium comprising a startup or tech company along with a researcher from a Nigerian university or a foreign counterpart. They must also present a research proposal aligned with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s AI focus areas. In addition, applicants are expected to demonstrate the potential economic impact of their projects in Nigeria and have a strong track record in research or entrepreneurship.
Empowering AI for Economic Growth
This initiative, unveiled on October 13, 2023, promises to provide financial support to 45 AI-focused startups and researchers. Each of these innovators will be granted 5 million naira, equivalent to $6,444, to further their AI endeavors.
Agriculture, Education, Finance, and More
The Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme is dedicated to transforming various sectors. It focuses on agriculture, education and workforce, finance, governance, healthcare, utility, and sustainability. To qualify for this groundbreaking grant, applicants must establish a consortium that includes a startup or tech company and a researcher from a Nigerian university or a foreign expert.
Driving Innovation and Impact
To secure funding, applicants are required to submit a research proposal aligned with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s AI focus areas. They must also provide a comprehensive proposal outlining the project’s potential economic impact in Nigeria. Moreover, awardees are expected to publish at least one peer-reviewed article within one year of receiving the grant.
In August, the Nigerian government extended an invitation to scientists of Nigerian heritage and globally renowned experts who have experience in the Nigerian market to contribute to the formulation of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
The application period for this transformative scheme begins on October 13, 2023, and concludes on November 15, 2023. A panel of AI specialists will carefully evaluate the proposals to ensure the most promising projects receive the support they need.
Nigeria’s investment in AI research promises a brighter, technologically advanced future for the nation. This initiative not only fosters innovation but also bolsters the country’s economic prospects, making it a pivotal step towards progress and prosperity.
This visionary initiative echoes Nigeria’s commitment to AI innovation, as earlier this year, the government invited scientists with Nigerian heritage and globally renowned experts to collaborate in developing the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
The application period for these grants commenced on October 13, 2023, and will conclude on November 15, 2023. A panel of AI specialists will rigorously assess the proposals to ensure that the chosen projects have the potential to drive economic progress in Nigeria.