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Federal Government to train 3 million tech talents in four years, says Communications Minister

The Federal Government has the ambitious plan to train 3 million tech talents and digital professionals over the next four years. This was contained in a recently issued strategy statement given by Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani.

On October 11, 2023, Dr. Tijani delivered a keynote address at TechCabal’s first-ever flagship Moonshot Conference. During a fireside chat with Tomiwa Alakademo, CEO of Big Cabal Media, he revealed that the Ministry has created a “1-10-100-model” to help it reach its target of developing 3 million tech talent in four years.

Over 5,000 people are expected at the two-day event, which aims to bring together the most daring players in the African tech scene, including founders, business executives, startups, and enterprise firms to network, collaborate, share ideas and insights, and celebrate innovation across the continent.

“For the first three months, we will start with 1% of our 3 million target. And there will be 30,000 people in that 1%. We progress from the prototype stage, represented by 1%, to the pilot stage, represented by 10%. Scaling to a higher number is simpler once we have that down.

Nigeria can become the most competitive nation on the continent when it comes to training technical talent if we can train 300,000 technical talent today, according to Dr. Tijani.

The Ministry wants to build a talent pipeline for the nation’s booming tech sector, he continued, thus the selection process for the first round of training will span all 36 states in the Federation. The World Bank claims that the Minister’s initiatives will “have a transformational impact” on the nation through promoting the general expansion of Nigeria’s digital economy. during $4.4 billion has been invested in Nigeria’s digital economy during the past four years.

Juliet Ehimuan, a former director of Google West Africa, said during a panel discussion on “Building the rails for the growth of the digital economy in the next decade” that in addition to the ambitious goal of the ministry, the federal government must work to increase young people’s capacity to enter the tech workforce and close the talent gap. Oswald Guobadia, a former Senior Special Assistant on Digital Transformation in the previous administration of Nigeria, claims that cooperation between stakeholders is necessary to lay the foundation for the development of Nigeria’s digital economy during the coming ten years. The Nigeria Startup Act, according to Guobadia, bridges the gap between policymakers and practitioners in Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem, as she noted during the same panel discussion at the event.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has six key technological domains, including artificial intelligence (AI), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, blockchain, and additive manufacturing. According to its policy paper, the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy wants to place Nigeria in the top 25% percentile globally in research across these domains. The minister stated that the same strategy will be used to “elevate Nigeria to become a leader in AI inclusion” in order to accomplish this.

Day 2 of TechCabal’s Moonshot is jam-packed with keynotes from Anuoluwapo Adedoyin Adasolum, CEO of Sabi; Josh Chibueze, Co-Founder/CMO of Piggytech; and Olugbenga Agboola, CEO of Flutterwave. It is hosted by Fatu Ogwuche and Olumuyiwa Olowogboyega. Panel discussions on topics like supporting African women entrepreneurs, developing global fintech solutions, and the future of gaming and financial services will also be held. The conference, which finishes today, is also scheduled to include masterclasses, fireside talks, and workshops led by eminent technologists and featuring prominent innovators like Fisayo Fosudo, Jola Ayeye, and Korty EO.

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