Business Hilights
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FG, Google reach deal to set up Artificial Intelligence Centres across Nigeria

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai on Wednesday, sealed an understanding at a meeting held at Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., located in California, United States to flood Nigeria with Artificial Intelligence hubs (AIH).

In his brief remarks, Osinbajo made it clear that “ In line with its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), especially its strategy to diversify the economy by making technology an enabler for forex revenue earnings, the Buhari administration would be actively supporting Google’s Next Billion users plan intended to ensure greater digital access in Nigeria and around the world.

While noting that the idea “will afford millions of Nigerians access to the Internet and particularly support content distribution,” Osinbajo noted that “Nigeria has been identified as one of the major countries where the latest generation of Internet users will come from, and the next billion users are said to be already changing the Internet in three key ways: the prominent use of smartphones to access the Internet, an instinct for universal computing, and a demand for localised content.

“The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users, as the global technology company has noted, and it is reckoned that the latest generation of internet users will come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

“For Nigeria, the Google Next Billion Users plan is expected to provoke innovation on an unprecedented scale.

Prof. Osinbajo also discussed other areas for possible partnership with Google, including the establishment of Google Artificial Intelligence Centers in Institutions of Higher Learning in Nigeria and the establishment of a YouTube Creator space to support Nigeria’s digital content producers and enable them make money with their craft leveraging on YouTube and Google Tools.

Other areas discussed include the expansion of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Program in Africa. Google has also indicated interest in the policy environment in Nigeria and formulation of policy to encourage partnerships and investments from Google with companies in Nigeria’s technology space.

Also in Federal Government’s effort of ensuring a skilled work force, it is partnering with Google to increase the number of Nigerians in the global technology firm’s Launchpad Accelerator, and Google I/O Developer Festivals.

Additional part of the deal includes training to Nigerians on Android and Web Development, Digital Marketing and Taking Business Online.

Business Hilights gathered that key objective of the Vice President’s trip is to showcase to the world the progress and strides in the country’s technology, innovation and creative space by Nigerian Start-ups and entertainment industry practitioners.

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