By Balarabe Oshiafi
The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA AI Developers Training (NAIDT) programme has marked its one-year anniversary, describing it as a success.
Formerly known as the NITDA Developers Group (NDG) Training, this initiative was conceived to accelerate the skill development of young Nigerians in the ever-evolving field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), an area in high demand for tech talent.
With the unwavering support of volunteers from Google Developers Group (GDG), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has successfully empowered numerous Nigerian youths, setting them on a transformative journey that promises not only to change their lives but also to have a far-reaching positive impact on society.
On this special occasion, Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, congratulated the beneficiaries and pledged to support the startups originating from the program.
He also expressed gratitude to GDG for their continuous support in ensuring the program’s success.
However, he highlighted the need to address the gender imbalance within the program, with female participation standing at less than 10%.
The DG called on GDG to devise innovative strategies, including specialized training for women in AI and emerging technologies, to rectify this disparity.
At the core of NAIDT is the NITDA “Learn, Teach and Earn” philosophy, a model that has led graduates of the program to become instructors themselves.
This perpetual cycle of learning, teaching, and earning has played a pivotal role in the success of the initiative.
Former participants, now instructors, are not only imparting knowledge but also enhancing their financial stability through their contributions to the program.
The program’s impact is evident not only through the training and upskilling of Nigerian youth but also in the creation of innovation-driven startups.
Names like ElonosiaAI, FundusAI, and Gyronics have risen from the NAIDT initiative, proving that its impact extends beyond theoretical knowledge.
Also, some graduates of the program have found themselves as ambassadors for tech giants like Microsoft, while others have applied their skills to offer services to foreign companies while remaining in Nigeria.
Over the past year, NAIDT has seen a remarkable journey, with 12 cohorts and a total of 2,785 participants from diverse backgrounds, including NYSC members, graduates, secondary school students, and artisans.
The program has provided training in areas such as machine learning, data analytics, and natural language processing (NLP), alongside instruction on utilizing AI tools, including large language models like ChatGPT.