Nigeria’s government has allocated $290k to fund AI projects

In an effort to promote the wider use of AI for the sake of economic development, the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme was recently created.

The Nigerian government plans to provide $5 million (around $6,444) to 45 AI-focused firms and academics, as announced on Friday, October 13 by Bosun Tijani, the country’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.

The minister announced the plan in an X (formerly Twitter) post; it is a component of the newly established Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme. The latter is meant to pave the way for the wider use of AI to promote economic progress.

According to the scheme’s website, it is primarily concerned with the following sectors: agriculture; education and workforce; finance; governance; healthcare; utilities; and sustainability. The ministry requires applicants to create consortiums with a startup or technology firm and either a Nigerian university researcher or an international researcher in order to be considered for a grant.

Successful applicants will submit research proposals that address AI priorities identified by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and the Digital Economy. Additionally, they need to submit a detailed proposal that emphasizes the project’s potential positive economic effect on Nigeria.

Successful applicants will have a history of significant research or business accomplishments and will have published at least one paper in a peer-reviewed journal within a year of receiving the award.

To help develop its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the government of Nigeria reached out to Nigerian-born scientists and internationally known professionals with experience in the Nigerian market in August.

Beginning on October 13th, 2023, applications will be accepted until the deadline of November 15th, 2023. The government has stated that an AI expert team will evaluate the submissions.

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