Data Science Nigeria (DSN) opens Nigeria’s first-ever Artificial Intelligence Hub in the University of Lagos towards repositioning Nigeria as Africa’s leader in Analytics, Research and Data-Driven solutions.
The opening of the Hub brought together the academia, industry players, experts and the technology community, with the focus of fostering a strong synergy, that will drive innovation to address socio-economic challenges in the nation.
In his opening remarks the Founder of Data Science Nigeria, Mr. Bayo Adekanmbi described the Artificial Intelligence Hub as a strategic intervention, that will boost research, innovation and information technology across the country.
Mr. Adekanmbi said the hub has a clear focus on local innovations mindset to solve local social/business problems with top priority on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Strategies to be deployed in the hub according to Adekanmbi, include; Mentoring and Masterclass sessions facilitated by global Artificial Intelligence experts and Bootcamps.
The Artificial Intelligence Hub will also serve as a key avenue for developing the Artificial Intelligence cycle in the country, focus on deep learning and encourage talent discovery in the innovation & data analytics space.
In his brief address the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Professor O.T. Ogundipe lauded Data Science Nigeria for the AI Hub, assuring the Founder Mr. Adekanmbi and his team of the total support from the management.
Professor Ogundipe informed stakeholders that the Data Science Nigeria AI Hub initiative aligns with the University’s core focus on innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship.
The Director, Global Development Strategy, Data and Analytics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Dr Uyi Stewart described the hub as a novel initiative for Nigeria’s advancement.
Dr. Stewart a Nigerian with 10 patents registered in the United States challenged stakeholders to explore the immense opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution, which is driven by cloud computing, digitization and artificial intelligence.
The Acting Director of the Centre for Information Technology, University of Lagos Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa believes the hub will address the gaps between the academic community and the industry.
The opening event also featured a special hackathon session on Artificial Intelligence and financial inclusion in Nigeria, facilitated by Dr. Uyi Stewart.
Data Science Nigeria is the vision of Bayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN, a hands-on data scientist and a doctoral researcher who uses data science algorithms to understand low-income customers. DSN has organised free bootcamps, industry summits, online free courses and provide internship/direct job placements for the Nigerian data science community.
Data Science Nigeria, a non-profit foundation, is driven by its vision to accelerate Nigeria’s development through a solution-oriented application of machine learning to solve social/business problems and galvanize data science knowledge revolution, which can position Nigeria to become the outsourcing hub for international Data Science/Advanced Analytics/Big Data projects, with opportunity to access at least 1% share of the global big data and analytics market, valued at $150 billion in 2017 ($203 billion in 2020).