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DSN Summit 2019 to Unveil First AI Book for Nigerian Elementary Schools

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In furtherance of its vision to democratize Artificial Intelligence (AI) and position Nigeria as a future global powerhouse in the fourth industrial revolution,  Olubayo Adekanmbi,  convener of Data Science Nigeria (DSN), has released a first-of-its-kind book that simplifies Artificial Intelligence for primary and secondary schools pupils.

 

This effort is in alignment with DSN’s roadmap to build a community of one million talented artificial intelligence (AI) specialists in Nigeria during the next 10 years, which will position Nigeria as one of the top 10 AI talent destination in the world, with significant GDP multiplier across all industries.

 

The book is an effort towards AI knowledge democratization as it simplifies the concept of artificial intelligence in a friendly manner to our young ones, with a view to stimulating their curiosity and driving their interest in learning about AI.

 

The book starts with generic introductions to the core concepts including machine learning, deep learning and reinforcement learning, and then introduces step-by-step programming using the Python programming language.

 

My intention is to go beyond the traditional code-first approach and motivate readers by helping them to understand what the knowledge of coding can do particularly in AI as a way to build an application-focused mindset.

The book is driven by a sense of higher purpose to catalyse nationwide capacity building with the skills of the future.

 

Bayo Adekanmbi said, “By creating pervasive knowledge across the country, we will open opportunities for every Nigerian to build the skills of the future.

 

“I believe that  Nigeria’s population of 200 million, with median age of about 18 years, is a huge strategic advantage that will position Nigeria as one of the top 10 AI knowledge centres in the world, especially if we proactively re-tool and reskill our young ones with relevant skills that can drive increased employability, foreign exchange inflows, AI-enabled start-ups, and enhance the general quality of life through solution-oriented AI applications in health, agriculture, financial inclusion, smart cities, and more.

 

“This will greatly benefit lives of Nigerians, starting with those who train as data scientists and artificial intelligence specialists.”.

 

With this book, Nigerian students who want to learn Big Data, Data Science, Machine/Deep Learning and other advanced analytics tools can now access to easy-to-understand simple learning materials with relevant practical exercises.

 

The book is fully supported by Softcom, and will be distributed free in Nigerian schools.

 

Olubayo Adekanmbi is an experienced hands-on data scientist, doctoral researcher and business leader with 20 years of experience.

 

He has led the DSN non-profit vision, which in the last two years of operation has distinguished itself with its transformational initiatives including the 1st Intercampus Machine Learning competition that involved over 10,000 students from 95 universities and polytechnics, dedicated Artificial Intelligence Community Hub, AI Summer Schools for Kids, AI Masterclass sessions for top business executives in Nigeria, industry-oriented hackathons, Learning-based Kaggle competitions, a Mentorship programme, development of Nigeria-centric Machine Learning/Deep learning curriculum/online learning platform,  AI+ Clubs in secondary schools, and its highly successful all-expenses-paid Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp.

 

The book will be unveiled at the annual Artificial Intelligence Summit, scheduled to hold on Tuesday 19 November 2019 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

The event will run in parallel with the Artificial Intelligence Demystified Masterclass for executive and the all-expense-paid Artificial Intelligence bootcamp, where 26 international experts will be flying to Nigeria as tutors and mentors during the same week.

 

The events are proudly supported by Microsoft, Softcom, Lagos State Office of Innovation, Terragon Group, Bluechip Technologies, Axa Mansard, Retina-AI USA, Techcabal, Proshare Nigeria, MainOne and Carbon.

 

 

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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Danbatta Inaugurates Evaluation Committee for 2020 Research Proposals

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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has inaugurated a 15-member Evaluation Committee for the assessment of the 2020 Telecommunications based research from Academics in the Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The Committee, chaired by Prof. Mu’azu Bashir, a professor of Computer and Control Engineering and Head of Computer Engineering Department at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was inaugurated at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja on Wednesday, September 24, 2020.

Speaking during the inauguration, Danbatta said that the initiative speaks to the Commission’s commitment towards encouraging the development of indigenous innovative solutions that impact not only the Telecom industry/ICT sector positively but also the nation as a whole.

“We want to continuously support research projects that can lead to the development of new products and services in the industry as the key enabler of the nation’s digital economy.

“We are all aware of the appreciable contributions of the Nigerian Telecommunication sector to the growth of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the years, which peaked at 14.53 per cent in second quarter of 2020,” he said.

Danbatta, stated that the Commission understands that funding Research and Development (R&D) is fundamental to ensuring that the needs of consumers are properly anticipated and met while enabling sustainable economic growth, adding that the Digital Economy-based Research Innovations project underlines the importance of funding R&D.

According to the EVC, for the year 2020, the request for proposals was tailored to providing innovations and solving challenges in five emerging areas of technology.

“These include innovative clean energy technology; 5G deployment in Nigeria; Internet of Things (IoT), low power Wide Area Network (WAN) technology; advanced methods of Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) management and test mechanism as well as monitoring and localisation of drones.

“While emphasising the importance of telecommunication/ICT industry to innovative developments and transformations within the economy, Danbatta tasked members of the Committee to thoroughly evaluate all submissions in order to sieve, identify and select the best from the proposals submitted.

“Members of this Committee have been carefully selected from the Academia, related government institutions and the industry based on their pedigree.

“I have no doubt in my mind that you will carry out the assignment to the highest acceptable standards,” the EVC said.

The Committee is expected to carry out the assignment and submit its report within four (4) weeks from the day of inauguration.

 


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FG Awards Cash Prizes Worth N16.5m to Winners 0f Nigeria @ 60 Challenge

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The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has awarded prizes worth N16.5million to nine Nigerians who emerged winners of the Nigeria @60 Independence Challenge.

It could be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR approved an inclusive National Independence Day Celebration programme with the theme: “Together at 60,” where it called on creative Nigerians to choose brand and come up with elements that will beautify the anniversary.

The Sub-Committee, chaired by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), minister of Communications and Digital Economy,  launched the challenge Portal on Friday, 4th September, 2020, with the aim of providing opportunity for talented, critical thinking and creative individuals or teams to produce the event slogan, photograph, and a poem.

The Jury, made up of Directors from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), evaluated the submissions based on the relevance to the theme, originality, creativity, impact and mode of presentation.

During the evaluation, a total of 3,258 entries were received, out of which 1,931 Slogan, 638 Poetry, and 689 Photography entries were submitted.

While presenting the Awards and Prizes, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman of the 60th Independence Celebration Sub-Committee, Dr Pantami said that the competition was meant to create a platform for all Nigerians to participate in the diamond jubilee anniversary.

He said “Federal Government provided this opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of creative minds to create other elements that will form the brand of the anniversary.

Dr Pantami congratulated the winners and charged those that participated to continue utilising their skills for the betterment of themselves and Nigeria at large, adding that “the nation will be proud of them”.

He said the Diamond Anniversary which is will last till September 30, 2021 is a period for Nigeria to celebrate its unity.

He also commended the jury that worked day and night to ensure fairness during the selection of nine winners from each category of the competition.

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while delivering the welcome address, described the process as first of its kind, where citizens are engaged virtually to plan the celebration.

Abdullahi said that COVID-19 pandemic has brought another opportunity for Nigerians to celebrate 60 years anniversary in style.

The Chairman of the Independence Competition Judging Committee, Director, IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi said the competition was meant to tap into the creative and innovative potential of the youths.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi- Esan represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Tope Fashedemi  commended the efforts of all participants, describing every Nigerian as a winner.

The outcome of the assessment saw the emergence of the following as second runners up: Sani Ibrahim (Slogan), Samson Mayor Emeka (Photography) and Umoru Patrick Eghiegbai (Poetry); first runners up Yusuf Muhammad Ahmad (Slogan), Leke Adebule and Team (Photography), and Mustapha Dauda Gwary (Poetry). The winners of the challenge are: Nwakuba Ezinne (Slogan), Amao Daniel Oluwadarisimi (Photography) and Kalu Rejoice Chioma (Poetry).

The winners were presented with awards and cash prizes in each category, with the second runners up getting One Million Naira each, first runners up One Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira each, and the winners, Three Million Naira each, for their creativity and innovative contribution to the Diamond Jubilee Celebration.

The Diamond/Innovation/Change Sub-Committee is made up of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as Chairman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister Education and Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation as members, while DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, was later co-opted as member.

 


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Ekeh, Zinox Boss, Says Tech Experience Centre Perfect 60th Anniversary Gift to Nigeria

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Leo Stan Ekeh, serial digital entrepreneur has described the Tech Experience Centre, an ambitious technology project that is widely expected to bridge the gap to cutting-edge technology for millions of Nigerians, as the perfect birthday gift to Nigeria as it turns 60.

The revolutionary Tech Experience Centre, the first of its kind in Africa, is set to be formally unveiled on Thursday, October 1st 2020, incidentally the occasion of Nigeria’s 60thIndependence Anniversary.

Equally important, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is expected to commission the auspicious project located within the high-rise Yudala Heights on 13 Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Also expected to attend the launch are stakeholders from the technology sector, corporate egg-heads and other dignitaries.

The event, which is scheduled for 5pm on Thursday, will be streamed live to millions across the world via digital channels.

Ekeh, who has remained in the forefront of digital evangelisation and promoting knowledge democracy in Nigeria and beyond, has expressed excitement with the birthing of the Tech Experience Centre.

The tech guru affirms that the formal unveiling of the Centre on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary makes it a fitting present to the country and to all Nigerians.

‘‘Nigeria’s journey as a sovereign independent nation is one that is filled with so many memorable milestones. Although we still face some peculiar challenges, there is much to be proud of as Nigeria clocks 60.

“In the same vein, the launch of the Tech Experience Centre represents a major milestone in Nigeria’s march to technology independence.

‘‘Indeed, the unveiling of this unprecedented project right here in Nigeria is a powerful statement of intent and a positive development that every Nigerian should be proud of.

“It is, in my opinion, the perfect birthday to Nigeria as we celebrate 60 years of our independence,’’ he said.

Ekeh, who had called on the Federal Government to consider declaring October 1st Nigeria’s technology independence day, restated the landmark strides that Nigeria had recorded in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The Zinox helmsman affirmed that the multiple collaborations, increased local participation and access to the latest technologies that would become a right of every Nigerian with the establishment of the Tech Experience Centre is a bold step forward in Nigeria’s march to technological emancipation.

‘‘On a number of occasions, I have reiterated that no country achieves true independence without a level of technological independence.

“The set-up of the Tech Experience Centre is one of such bold investments Nigeria requires to confidently stake a claim for relevance as a technology force to be reckoned with, not only in Africa, but on the global stage.

“The current administration also deserves commendation for its greater emphasis on technology – a critical sector that is being championed professionally by the Honourable Minister, Dr. Pantami.’’

In addition, Ekeh heaped praises on the various tech giants that have partnered with TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor, to bring the idea of the Tech Experience Centre to life.

‘‘We must also not fail to recognize and appreciate the global OEMs that have identified with this project.

“Having renowned tech brands such as Cisco, Microsoft, Dell Technologies, HP, Schneider Electric, Zinox, Philips, Samsung, Apple and Bosch, among others, come together under one roof to build local capacity and place the latest technologies at the fingertips of every Nigerian is a huge development that will come with a number of positive multiplier effects for the country,’’ he concluded.

The Tech Experience Centre will officially open its impressive doors to Nigerians on Thursday, October 1st by 5pm.

For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.

The Centre will house global technology giants under one roof, with the aim of making cutting-edge technology easily accessible to Nigerians and other nationals at entry costs that make sense.

Experts and economic watchers have hailed the expected launch of the centre as a major development that will shore up Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology space, while also boosting the nation’s economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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