NITDA trains 2,785 Nigerians on AI, decries low participation of women




The National Information Technology Development has successfully trained 2,785 Artificial Intelligence Developers.

Mr Kashifu Inuwa, the Director General of NITDA, disclosed this on Friday at a ceremony to mark the National Information Technology Development Agency’s (NITDA) AI Developers Training (NAIDT) programme anniversary with the support of Google Developers Group, GDG.

The DG noted that the training aimed to empower Nigerian youths with digital skills and innovation.

He, however, decried the poor participation of women in the programme, adding that women represented only about 15 per cent of the total participants.

“Then, I thought that we used to reject National Youth Service Corps Members, students on internship who are supposed to be on compulsory one-year service.

“From then, we decided to train them through our National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, NCAIR and empower them with AI skills instead of rejection.

“We started it as a challenge to them (GDG) on how we can build an ecosystem that AI powers, and today we have trained 2,785 young Nigerians after one year,” he said.

“AI is a social engineering technology where we can build systems and solutions for ourselves, and if women are not represented, AI systems can make decisions excluding them.

“We don’t want anyone to be excluded; we want to ensure inclusivity,” he said.

Two programme beneficiaries, Amina Shiga and Zubairu Tahir, confirmed they had had a good AI journey that had positively impacted their knowledge.

They commended NITDA, saying that their perspective on AI had changed and improved.

The scheme, which kicked off in August last year, has gone through 12 cohorts with participants across every work of life in Nigeria.