Nigeria Launches First Multilingual LLM with Tech Partners

The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled the country’s inaugural multilingual large language model (LLM) in a significant stride towards advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

Nigeria Launches First Multilingual LLM with Tech Partners
Nigeria Launches First Multilingual LLM with Tech Partners

This milestone, announced by Nigerian Minister of Communications, Dr Bosun Tijani, follows a collaborative effort involving local and global technology partners.

Collaborative Effort and Launch

The AI solution launch stemmed from a four-day AI workshop held in Abuja, facilitated by Nigerian AI company Awarritech, global technology firm DataDotOrg, the National Information Technology Development Agency, and the National Centre for AI and Robotics (NCAIR).

The LLM, trained in five low-resource languages and English, aims to bolster language representation in AI datasets, fostering the development of AI solutions.

National AI Strategy Development

Minister Tijani highlighted Nigeria’s progress in formulating its National AI Strategy during the workshop, emphasizing collaboration among over 120 AI professionals.

The establishment of NCAIR underscores Nigeria’s commitment to AI research and development, with a focus on key sectors such as robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Funding and Support

  • Initial funding of US$3.5 million for the National AI Strategy has been secured from various partners, including UNDP, UNESCO, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and local institutions like 21st Century Technologies.
  • Notable contributions include US$1.5 million in direct funding and an additional US$2 million invested by 21st Century Technologies into the trial program, reflecting both local and international support for Nigeria’s AI initiatives.

Nigeria’s launch of the multilingual LLM and progress in formulating its National AI Strategy signify significant strides towards leveraging AI for national development.

With collaborative efforts and substantial support from local and global partners, Nigeria is poised to harness the transformative potential of AI in driving innovation and digital transformation across key sectors of the economy.



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