Nigeria “Not Ripe” Enough for AI: Former AfICTA President


One professor said that Nigeria will take time to adapt into the artificial intelligence technology / Photo by: OpenUpEd via Wikimedia Commons


It looks like it’s going to take a while for AI to land on Nigeria, in large part because Dr. Jimson Olufuye, the former president of the African Information Communication Technology Alliance (AfICTA) says that in order to fund an AI push, a huge investment would be needed, which is something that his country doesn’t have.

 As reported by Vanguard, in addition to a huge investment, much of an AI push for Nigeria will also require “stable and functional institutions for the technology to be efficient.” Although Olufuye does not disregard the skill set that many in Africa already have when it comes to a possible AI push, he acknowledges that the difficult part of it all is getting resources that would fund the creation of the hardware.

“Right now, the real need is not there yet. We are still struggling with basic needs; the majority of our population is still trying to make ends meet,” Olufuye adds.

Olufuye mentions countries like US, Japan, and China in the race toward a future with AI and explains that in comparison with these countries, Nigeria does not have the money to sustain the level of AI technology that the three mentioned countries are able to churn out. In order to be on the same level of advancement that the three countries are now in, Olufuye says that the country will need to up its development index.

What’s more, Olufuye says that the country still has some technological hurdles to overcome, such as improving internet connectivity, which is a must when taking on AI challenges. As it is, Nigeria has more blind spots than it has places with an efficient internet connection.

He adds that the government also has to support this effort, as the ICT sector brings with it many opportunities that could give people in Nigeria jobs. However, the government has to be proactive and take necessary steps towards transparency and cater policies that will help ensure the growth of these sectors.