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US and Nigeria hold conference on digital economy and emerging technology

THE United States of America and Nigeria will discuss the digital economy, emerging technology and the development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Nigeria.

Mr. Arthur Brown, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, ​​Abuja, made this statement recently at the closing ceremony of a four-day workshop on National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in Abuja.

Brown said that in less than two weeks, senior US government officials would be in Abuja for a conference under the auspices of the US-Nigeria Bi-National Commission.

“In less than two weeks, the United States and Nigeria will hold a Bi-National Commission, a conference with senior US government officials coming to Abuja to discuss, among other things, the digital economy and emerging technology.

“We want to foster deeper partnerships and work together to create programs and policies that will drive robust, resilient and inclusive economic growth.

“Looking ahead, we hope to build on the momentum of this four-day workshop with an AI conference in Lagos to deepen ties between our economies.

“We want to align Al’s governance to ensure Al is deployed in a safe, secure, transparent and reliable manner,” he said.

He said the US, through its various agencies, is ready to work with Nigeria as equal partners to achieve everything from talent development, infrastructure, research to innovation.

Brown commended Nigeria for its support in the adoption of a landmark United Nations resolution on AI.

He also pledged the US government’s continued partnership with Nigeria on the economy.

“Thanks to Nigeria’s support and co-sponsorship, we were able to secure the adoption of a landmark United Nations resolution on seizing the opportunity for safe, secure and reliable Al systems for sustainable development.

“The United States looks forward to continuing to work closely with Nigeria and everyone to improve the lives of the people of both our countries,” he said.

The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, emphasized the need for governments and leaders across Africa to make decisions in support of their desires and approaches.

Tijani said: “The essence of the African AI Council is to mobilize resources and, where necessary, have one voice as a continent so that we can allow our entrepreneurs and creative innovators to benefit from that market.”

Speaking about the expected revenue that will be generated and the employment that will be created, he said: “The revenue should not necessarily be where we should start in the first place. I think the first thing we have to do as a nation is to be well structured and organized to be able to control this technology, which is a very special technology.”

According to him, AI will help diversify the economy.

“AI is by nature a tool to support the evolution of productivity in various sectors and Nigeria is a country that has always talked about diversifying its economy.

“So this is a unique opportunity for us to enable a technology that can help us increase productivity levels in agriculture, public health and education,” he said.

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