The Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has celebrated one year of its flagship programme, the NITDA AI Developers Training (NAIDT) programme which has empowered artificial intelligence developers for a year.
Formerly known as the NITDA Developers Group (NDG) training, it emerged from the urgent need to enhance the artificial intelligence (AI) skills of young Nigerians, given the high demand for AI talent in the tech industry.
A statement from the agency said, over the past year, NAIDT, with support from volunteers of the Google Developers Group (GDG), has played a pivotal role in equipping Nigerian youth with valuable skills that not only transform their lives but also contribute to positive societal change.
NAIDT is built upon NITDA’s “Learn, Teach and Earn” philosophy. Graduates of the programme have transitioned into instructors, fostering a cycle of continuous learning, teaching and earning. Former participants have taken on the role of mentors, guiding the next generation of tech enthusiasts while improving their financial well-being through the programme.
As NITDA and GDG mark the first anniversary of NAIDT, they can celebrate a series of notable achievements. Many Nigerian youths have been trained and upskilled, with numerous participants going on to establish innovative startups like ElonosiaAI, FundusAI, Gyronics and more. Some have even become ambassadors for tech giants like Microsoft, while others offer services to foreign companies while residing in Nigeria.
Over the past year, NAIDT has conducted 12 cohorts, training a total of 2,785 participants from diverse backgrounds, including NYSC corps members, graduates, secondary school students and artisans. These individuals have received training in machine learning, data analytics and various AI fields such as natural language processing (NLP). The program also educates participants on leveraging AI tools like ChatGPT, utilising large language models effectively.
In celebrating the one-year milestone of NAIDT, the director-general of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, extended his congratulations to all the programme’s beneficiaries. He pledged NITDA’s ongoing support for the startups emerging from NAIDT and acknowledged the vital role played by the GDG in the programme’s success.
Abdullahi, however, expressed concern about the low female participation rate, which currently stands at less than 10 per cent. He challenged the GDG to address this gender imbalance by implementing innovative strategies, such as organising specialised training sessions for women in AI and other emerging technologies.