AI holds huge potential for developing countries, says NCC boss at ABU Conference

AI holds huge potential for developing countries, says NCC boss at ABU Conference

Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr. Aminu Maida says Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds huge potential for developing countries as it would help tackle issues in crucial sectors of the economy such as agriculture, health, infrastructure, and education.

Maida, who spoke at the 2nd International Conference on Computing and Advances in Information Technology (ICCAIT 2023) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Tuesday, 21st November, 2023, explained that AI had been a widely debated issue for decades and it was now gaining even more attention.

He spoke on “Government Efforts on the Development of Artificial Intelligence: The Nigerian Journey So Far” at the 4-day conference organised by the Department of Computer Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and declared open by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala.

Dr. Maida was represented at the occasion by the Commission’s Director for Research and Development, Alhaji Ismaila Adedigba.

The NCC boss said that it was estimated that AI could add over $15 trillion to the global economy in the next 10 years if well harnessed and that it would help strengthen the capacity of government to develop, adopt, and deploy digital technologies.

He explained that Nigerian government had been making efforts in the development of Artificial Intelligence, saying that the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) was established in 2020 to transform the Nigeria digital economy and create a thriving ecosystem for innovation-driven entrepreneurship, job creation, and national development.

Maida also said that AI and other emerging technologies would have a positive effect on the Nigerian economy and society by giving a purposeful priority to develop in the country, as the future of AI is one that enjoys endless possibilities.

Declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Kabiru Bala, described the theme of the conference as timely because the world was moving towards AI in all human endeavours.

The Vice-Chancellor, who commended the choice of speakers drawn from different parts of the country and beyond, also thanked the Department for providing an avenue for scholars to discuss advances in information technology.

Earlier in his address of welcome, Dr. Muhammed Abdulrahim, Head of the Department, Computer Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, expressed appreciation to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other sponsors of the conference and thanked the University Management for the support.

Other scholars, who spoke at the conference included Prof. Chenghua Lin of University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He spoke on “Improving Metaphor Detection with Frame Embedding Learning and Effective Context Devising”.

Prof. Abiodun Musa Aibinu of Summit University, Offa, Kwara State, presented a paper on “The Advent of Large Models and the Expectations from African Researchers”, while Prof. Francisca Anaolapo Oladipo of Thomas Adewunmi University Oko, Kwara State, spoke on “Advent of Large Language Models and the Expectations from African Researchers”.

Public Affairs Directorate,
Office of the Vice-Chancellor,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Wednesday, 22nd November, 2023

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