In a significant step forward for technological innovation and inclusivity, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has partnered with the UNICCON Group to introduce a digital literacy mobile app and the Omeife AI app in Abuja.
The digital literacy app marks a remarkable advancement as it seamlessly interacts in four local languages: Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, and Pidgin, ensuring accessibility for a broader demographic.
Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, the Director General of NITDA and a special guest at the launch, recalled the collaborative effort between NITDA and UNICCON Group, who had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) earlier in the year to develop this digital literacy app.
In a noteworthy moment, Inuwa revealed that he had the privilege of representing the former Vice President during the launch of Omeife, the first humanoid robot in Africa, in December 2022. Three months later, he visited the UNICCON Group and challenged the Chairman, Dr. Chuks Ekwueme, to develop the Digital Literacy App, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology to address existing problems and promote digital literacy.
Inuwa underlined NITDA’s commitment to investing in UNICCON Group for research purposes and called upon developmental partners to join forces in realizing this vision.
He also commended the collaborative efforts with GIZ on implementing the National Digital Literacy Framework (NDLF).
As a government regulatory body, NITDA shoulders the responsibility of achieving an ambitious target of 95% digital literacy by 2030, aligning with Nigeria’s aim to become a global digital economy powerhouse.
Inuwa stressed the necessity of ensuring digital literacy for all Nigerians, citing the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani’s mid-term target to train 70% of the population by the end of 2023.
The DG expressed enthusiasm for the potential of AI and encouraged UNICCON Group’s participation in upcoming policy dialogues in Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt, hoping “These dialogues would provide a platform to showcase Omeife and gather feedback for its further improvement as a primary tool for implementing NDLF in Nigeria.”
He noted that Nigeria is deeply committed to the application of AI, which is embedded in the blueprint launched by the Minister, noting the government’s mandate to enhance the nation’s GDP and economy through technology.
Inuwa highlighted the transformative potential of AI, with the prospect of algorithms creating algorithms and robots serving humanity.
He also touched upon AI’s application in biology, which could accelerate innovation, such as 3D printing of human organs and growing plant-based and lab-grown meat from stem cells.
Inuwa asserted that Nigeria is actively building this technology and that embracing local content is essential to preserve culture and values.
He emphasized that Nigeria and Africa should not lag behind in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), particularly with the abundant youthful population, which is a valuable resource for emerging technologies.
Inuwa stressed the interconnectedness of technology and people, underscoring the importance of nurturing talent and digital literacy, reinforcing NITDA’s commitment to partner with UNICCON Group to realize this vision.
In closing, Inuwa applauded the UNICCON Group for their revolutionary convergence of different sectors of emerging technology, which he believes will shape the future more rapidly than expected.
Dr. Chuks Ekweme, in his opening speech, emphasized Omeife App’s ability to cater to the Nigerian and African experience, making it accessible to both literate and illiterate users.
He shared the aspiration to position Nigeria as a global superpower and highlighted Omeife’s interactive and personalized approach to digital literacy skill acquisition.