USA and Nigeria discuss digital economy and AI advancements for economic growth

USA and Nigeria discuss digital economy and AI advancements for economic growth

United States of America and Nigeria are exploring potential partnerships in the digital economy and emerging technologies, as well as the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The discussions are aimed at strengthening economic ties and fostering deeper collaborations between the two nations.

Arthur Brown, the Deputy Chief Mission at the U.S. embassy, announced high-level U.S. officials would be in Abuja to attend a conference organized by the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission. The conference will give both countries a chance to discuss digital economy, emerging technologies, and AI advances.

M. Brown, at the close of the four-day Workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, in Abuja, stressed the importance of working together and fostering partnerships to achieve robust, resilient and inclusive economic development. The United States will work as equal partners with Nigeria in a variety of areas including talent development and infrastructure. Mr. Brown commended Nigeria's support for the landmark United Nations AI resolution and pledged that the U.S. Government would continue to partner with Nigeria in the economic arena.

In recent years, Nigeria has demonstrated a growing interest in AI and emerging technologies. The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, or NCAIR, was established in November 2020. It is the first centre of its kind to be set up in Africa. This marks a significant moment for the state's commitment to AI. The NCAIR was created in accordance with Nigeria's National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy 2020- 2030 which included AI as one the eight pillars for the digital economy.

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Since the NCAIR was established, AI has become a more prominent part of government policy. The NCAIR has launched programs that teach children coding, machine learning and AI. The Nigerian Government has also instructed the Nigerian Communications Commission to grant AI research grants to tertiary educational institutions in order to improve innovation and economic resilience.

Nigeria, in March 2023, drafted a National AI Policy, which was co-created with industry experts by the National Information Technology Development Agency, to strengthen its AI commitment. Nigeria has launched several initiatives, including the 3 Million Technical Talents (3MTT program) and the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme(NAIRS), to support AI startups and researchers and train young people.

The forthcoming discussions between the USA, Nigeria, and other countries present an opportunity for the two countries to exchange knowledge, expertise, best practices, and AI advances in the digital economy. The partnership will drive economic growth in both countries by aligning AI governance, ensuring safe and secure AI deployment and transparency, and ensuring that AI is deployed in a transparent and trusted manner.

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