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NITDA trains 859 kid on Artificial Intelligence, drone technologies

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja) and Ngozi Egenuka (Lagos)
14 September 2022   |   3:24 am
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has trained 859 kids in Abuja, Lagos and Kano on Artificial Intelligence, robotics and drone technologies, digital Communication, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Director-General/CEO of NITDA Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi

•Tasks participants on indigenous coding languages
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has trained 859 kids in Abuja, Lagos and Kano on Artificial Intelligence, robotics and drone technologies, digital Communication, and Internet of Things (IoT).
  
Speaking at the closing of the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Bootcamp for Kids award at the weekend, in Abuja, Director-General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, tasked the kids to develop indigenous coding languages games with African features.
   
He stated that with a global population of about 7.7 billion only a little percentage could code, whereas there are over 14 billion devices, computers hence positioning them at the centre of human lives.
   
Inuwa said that seven out of the ten fastest growing better paid jobs globally were in the IT sector and any kind of job needed a computer for efficiency.
  


The NITDA boss explained that devices, which included mobile phones, computers, among others, were taking over jobs through the languages of coding that were categorised into narrow artificial intelligence and super intelligence
   
He said: “We need more people that can code because that is the future of work and it is important that you develop interest and build a career in coding, very few of the elites around the world control what we see, read and believe and you being part of them can change things. This is a golden opportunity to start coding early in life. You need to become an exceptional person by having initiatives that solve problems.
  
“We want to see games with African characters, games that uphold our values and cultures, educational games and many more. You can also develop games, play them and make money out of them.”

Also speaking, the National Director, National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics NCAIR, Yau Garba observed that the bootcamp which was held simultaneously in Abuja, Lagos and Kano had kids between 8-11 years for the first batch and 12 to 16 years for the second batch.
  
MEANWHILE, in Lagos, kids from Alimosho local government were trained for two weeks, one week each for junior and senior category on Artificial Intelligence, coding, digital communication, robotics and drones, embedded system and IOT, virtual reality and 3D printing.
    
This was revealed at the closing ceremony of the STEM Bootcamp for Kids (SB4KIDS) at the weekend, where the kids also presented some projects they worked on during the bootcamp.
   
Manager, South-West zonal office, NITDA, Mrs. Jumoke Alaka, representing Inuwa, noted that the involvement of the kids in technology and innovation will accelerate the development of the IT sector and create future leaders, who would transform the Nigerian technology space and boosts the digital economy.
 

   
She noted that as the world goes into the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), there is need for new strategies and innovative approaches to STEM education, which is fast deteriorating, as seen in the recent performance of students in major national examinations. 
  
“This STEM bootcamp for kids triggers our interest at NITDA and resonates deeply with our ongoing efforts toward implementing the National Digital economy policy for digital Nigeria. Our mandate is to create a framework for the planning, research, development, and standardization application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria,” she said.
   
According to Alaka, NCAIR is the arm of NITDA meant to drive research and development and innovation in the areas of emerging technologies, stressing that NCAIR is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigeria’s national interest.