The Federal Government of Nigeria through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has joined the UNICCON Group to launch the digital literacy mobile App and Omeife AI App in Abuja.
The Digital literacy. App marked a leap in technological innovation and inclusivity with its design to interact seamlessly in four local languages: Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Pidgin.
The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, who was the special guest at the launch, recalled how NITDA and UNICCON Group had signed an MOU earlier in the year to partner on developing the digital literacy app.
The DG was excited as he revealed that he was privileged to represent the former Vice President to launch Omeife, the first Humanoid robot in Africa, in December 2022. Three months later, he came on a facility tour of UNICCON group, and thereafter, challenged the Chairman, Dr. Chucks Ekwueme, to develop the Digital Literacy App. “We need to use the technology to solve existing problems and decide on digital literacy because it is the currency to a digital economy”.
Inuwa assured of NITDA’s commitment towards investing in UNICCON Group in terms of research, and called for developmental partners to collaborate to achieve this vision. He further, commended the efforts of GIZ who are currently working with NITDA on the policy dialogue to implement the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF).
“As a government regulatory body, NITDA is saddled with the responsibility to deliver on the administration’s ambitious target of achieving 95% digital literacy by 2030, to enable Nigeria become a global superpower in digital economy, and Nigerians needs to be digitally literate,” said the NITDA boss.
He noted that the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, recently, unveiled a blueprint with a mid-term target of achieving 70% by the end of 2023, by training 70% of 200 million within four years in, in-person training. “That’s why we need this kind of technology”, he added excitedly.
He further encouraged the UNICCON Group to attend the upcoming policy dialogues scheduled to hold in Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt, to provide a platform to exhibit Omeife and get possible feedback on how to improve on it, to make it the primary or main tool to implement NDLF in Nigeria.
Accordingly, he explained that the policy dialogue is a forum where critical industry stakeholders participate to enable co-creation of the policy. Adding that Nigeria is invested in the application of AI, which is embedded in the blueprint launched by the Minister, and the President has given the mandate to grow the nations’ GDP and economy through technology.
“AI has become an important technology in the world today and if humanity can develop it right, it would be the last invention needed as humans, because AI can do anything we want,’’ said Inuwa.
He disclosed more benefits available in AI, stating that if applied to its fullest there would be algorithms creating algorithms and robots working for humans. With the application of AI in biology, it will accelerate a lot of innovation.
“There is the projection about a bio 3D printing human organ, likewise, there is conversation about growing plant and meat from stem cells. When there is a convergence of AI with biology, all these are possible”, he asserts.
“Today, we are building the technology here in Nigeria, for Africa. If we exempt our local contents from the AI we are building, our culture and values would be forgotten,” he added.
Therefore, according to Inuwa, Nigeria and Africa should not be left behind in this fourth industrial revolutions (4IR). With emerging technologies, what is paramount is the talent and the people, which Nigeria has in abundance given our teeming youthful population.
“Technology cannot work without the people. It is like a ying and yang, the technology, and the people”, he affirmed.
Speaking further, he added that there is need to build and invest in digital literacy and talent in general and NITDA is happy to partner with UNICCON Group to make this a reality.
He applauded the UNICCON Group for the convergence of the different sectors of emerging technology in their company. “This is revolutionary and a game changer to the future which is arriving faster than we expected. Thank you for taking up the challenge and delivering in a significant milestone”, he concluded.
Dr. Chuks Ekweme in his opening speech said that Omeife App is tailored to meet the Nigerian and African experience to users. “The App can be used both by the literate and the illiterate. We are working on making Nigeria become one of the superpowers in the world”.
He said, Omeife is built with the capacity to provide an interactive, personalised experience for anybody acquiring the digital literacy skills.