Nigerian government offers $290K in grants to encourage AI initiatives

By: Dickson Arinze

Nigerian government offers $290K in grants to encourage AI initiatives

October 16, 2023 8:46 AM

To promote the widespread application of AI for the sake of economic development, the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme was recently created.

On Friday, October 13th, Bosun Tijani, Nigeria's Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, announced that the country would award grants totaling 5 million naira ($6,444) to 45 AI-focused firms and researchers.

The minister announced the plan in an X (formerly Twitter) post; it's a part of the newly established Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme. The latter's stated goal is to promote the wider adoption of AI to drive economic development.

Agriculture, education and workforce, finance, governance, healthcare, utilities, and sustainability are listed as key areas of emphasis on the scheme's official website. According to the ministry, to be considered for a grant, applicants must form a consortium consisting of a startup or technology firm, a researcher from a Nigerian university, and a foreign researcher.


Applicants should submit a research proposal that fits within the AI priority areas established by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and the Digital Economy. They are also expected to detail the project's potential economic impact on Nigeria in a detailed proposal.

Successful applicants will have a history of significant research or business accomplishments and will have published at least one paper in a peer-reviewed journal within a year of receiving the grant.

In August, the government of Nigeria invited Nigerian-born scientists and internationally recognized AI professionals with experience in the Nigerian market to help develop the country's first AI strategy.

The call for applications will go live on October 13th, 2023, and close on November 15th, 2023. According to the ministry's announcement, an AI expert group will determine the outcome.