Nigeria has committed to training 3 million tech talents over the next four years. Speaking at Day 1 of TechCabal’s inaugural flagship Moonshot Conference on Wednesday, the country’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani revealed that the ambitious goal is stated in the ministry’s recently released policy document.
Dr. Tijani disclosed that the Ministry has designed a “1-10-100-model” to achieve this goal.
“We are starting with 1% of our 3 million target and that will be for the first three months. And that 1% is going to be 30,000 people. From the 1%, which is the prototype, we move to the 10% which is the pilot stage. Once we can get that right, it is easier to scale to a larger number.” he said.
”If Nigeria can train 300,000 tech talents today, we can become the most competitive country on the continent when it comes to training technical talent,” said Dr. Tijani.
He added that the selection process for the first training phase will cut across all 36 states of the Federation, as the Ministry aims to create a pipeline of talent for the country’s thriving tech ecosystem. The Minister’s plans are tied to driving the overall growth of Nigeria’s digital economy, which according to the World Bank, would “have a transformational impact” on the country. Nigeria’s digital economy space has recorded over $4.4 billion in investments in the last four years.
Speaking at a panel discussion on “Building the rails for the growth of the digital economy in the next decade”, Juliet Ehimuan, former Director of Google West Africa, added that beyond the ministry’s ambitious goal, the Federal government also needs to work towards building the capacity of young people to join the tech workforce and close the talent gap.
According to its policy paper, the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy has a goal to position Nigeria in the top 25% percentile in research globally across six pivotal Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technological domains, including artificial Intelligence (AI), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, blockchain, and additive manufacturing. To achieve this, the minister disclosed that the same model will be adopted to “elevate Nigeria to become a leader in AI inclusion”.