The Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, which was recently introduced, aims to promote the extensive use of AI for driving economic progress. The Nigerian Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani, announced on October 13 that the government plans to award 5 million naira ($6,444) to 45 startups and researchers with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI).
This announcement was made by the minister on a social media platform, X (formerly Twitter), and is part of the newly established Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, which is designed to facilitate the widespread adoption of AI to stimulate economic growth.
According to the scheme’s official website, it concentrates on key areas such as agriculture, education, finance, governance, healthcare, utilities, and sustainability. To be eligible for the grant, applicants must form a consortium that includes a startup or tech company, a researcher from a Nigerian university, or a foreign researcher, as per the ministry’s requirements.
Applicants are required to submit a research proposal aligned with the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy’s AI focus areas. Additionally, they should present a detailed proposal outlining the potential economic impact of their project in Nigeria.
Applicants must also demonstrate a strong track record of excellence in research or entrepreneurship and are expected to publish at least one peer-reviewed article within a year of receiving the grant.
In August, the Nigerian government invited Nigerian scientists and globally recognized experts with experience in the Nigerian market to collaborate in the development of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy.
The application period opens on October 13, 2023, and closes on November 15, 2023. The ministry has stated that a panel of AI experts will evaluate the submitted proposals.