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NAIRS announces N5 million as grants for AI researchers and innovators 

Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme (NAIRS) has announced grants for researchers and startups to accelerate AI research and innovation. 

The grant award will include up to N5 million for 45 Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers or startups. 

The aim is to drive the AI transformation agenda, through those interested in research and innovations on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that spur job creation, and economic growth, improve government services, and have positive societal impacts across Nigeria. 

According to a report by the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly reshaping multiple industries and holds significant potential to drive job creation, economic growth, and societal development.

Nigeria, being the largest economy in Africa with a population of over 200 million and a youthful demographic (median age of 18.4 years, World Bank, 2022), is well-positioned to leverage AI to advance its economic prosperity.

The country boasts a growing pool of tech talent and a vibrant startup ecosystem, including six unicorns as of 2022 (CB Insights, 2022). 

To fully harness AI’s potential for driving applications, job opportunities, and policy leadership in Africa, the Ministry believes it is essential to prioritize substantial research and strategic investments in AI.

This is why the Ministry believes research efforts will play a pivotal role in developing adaptable AI models tailored for key sectors such as agriculture, education, healthcare, and finance.

Furthermore, these investments will enable the optimization of innovations by bridging the gap between academic advancements and practical industry applications, while also facilitating insights into AI’s impacts through pilot studies and field experiments on deployed systems.

Ultimately, this research will guide evidence-based policies addressing ethical AI use, data governance, privacy, safety, automation, inclusion, and other emerging AI-related challenges. 

Here are examples of research themes expected for the applicants to focus on: 

The expected outcomes of this grant scheme are to: 

To apply for the grant, visit here, then: 

Applicants are to submit their application before the deadline  on the 15th of November, 2023