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USA and Nigeria to Forge AI Partnership for Economic Growth

Discover the emerging partnership between the USA and Nigeria aimed at advancing AI deployment for economic growth, focusing on safe, secure, and innovative technology solutions.

Bilateral Talks Aim to Enhance Economic Ties and AI Deployment

The United States of America and Nigeria are set to deepen their cooperation in the digital economy and artificial intelligence (AI), signaling a new era in bilateral relations focused on technological advancement and economic growth. This announcement came during the closing ceremony of a four-day Workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in Abuja, where Mr. Arthur Brown, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, outlined plans for upcoming discussions.

Upcoming AI Conference in Lagos

According to Brown, within the next two weeks, senior officials from the U.S. government will convene in Abuja for a significant conference organized by the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-National Commission. This meeting aims to build on the momentum from the recent workshop by hosting an additional AI conference in Lagos, providing a platform for both nations to explore potential partnerships in emerging technology.

Objectives of the Partnership

The primary goal of the USA-Nigeria partnership is to ensure that AI deployment is safe, secure, transparent, and trustworthy. Brown emphasized the readiness of the United States to work with Nigeria as equitable partners, advancing initiatives that span talent development, infrastructure, research, and innovation. He also highlighted Nigeria's recent endorsement of a significant United Nations resolution on AI, applauding the ongoing collaboration between the two nations in enhancing economic ties.

Economic Impact and Policy Focus

Dr. Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Innovation and Digital Economy, spoke at the workshop about the importance of African governments taking decisive action to support their technological aspirations. Citing a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Tijani noted that artificial intelligence could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. This potential includes $3 trillion from enhanced productivity and $9.1 trillion from new goods and services. However, Tijani stressed that Nigeria’s focus should not just be on revenue but on establishing effective governance for AI to maximize its potential across various sectors.

Collaborative Efforts and Workshop Outcomes

The Ministry of Communications Innovation and Digital Economy, in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), organized the four-day workshop. This event was pivotal in launching Nigeria’s first Multilingual Large Language Model (LLM), marking a significant step towards Nigeria's leadership in AI development in Africa. In August 2023, the Nigerian government also invited scientists of Nigerian heritage and globally renowned experts to help formulate its National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.