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Kaduna Govt, Google, DSN launch AI for beginners in Hausa

Google in collaboration with Data Science Nigeria (DSN) and the Kaduna State Government on Tuesday launched the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) in local language – “AI for Beginners in Hausa’’.

The initiative is aimed at empowering women in Northern Nigeria.

The Kaduna State governor, Sen. Uba Sani, in his address, expressed profound gratitude to the partners for building support for women to use technology to harness the social economic development of the state and the country as a whole.

The governor was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, at the launch of Arewa Ladies for Tech, and the launch and mural unveiling of AI for Beginners Learning Video series.

According to Sani, AI is not just the future; it’s the present.

“By equipping our people especially our women with AI skills, we are not only paving the way for a more prosperous and innovative Northern Nigeria but also laying the foundation for Kaduna to become a thriving tech hub.

‘’Today, as we gather for the official launch, I feel the pride that Kaduna State is at the forefront of digitalisation. This initiative to teach AI in Hausa will demystify the complex nature of AI,’’ he said.

He, however, appreciated the efforts of DNS , Google, for the tireless effort in ensuring the success of AI in local language.

“Your commitment to laying a vibrant and inclusive digital economy is commendable”.

The Director, West Africa, Google, Mr Olumide Balogun, said in his welcome address said that Google’s mission was to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Balogun said that this mission drives Google to create opportunities that not only support individuals but also empower communities.

“In Nigeria, our vision is to unlock economic opportunities for everyone—whether you reside in Kaduna, Lagos, or Onitsha, and whether you are an entrepreneur, a student, or a trader.

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“We strive to ensure that our programmes and efforts provide substantial opportunities for all.

“Technology, especially the power of the internet, has become a pivotal tool in accessing growth and enhancing lives.

“Yet, we recognise that many underserved communities and groups face significant barriers in harnessing these opportunities; this brings us to why we are here today,’’ he said.

He said that in 2023, through Google philanthropic arm, Google.org, made a steadfast commitment to address these challenges.

According to him, Google pledged a $1.5 million grant to empower 20,000 Nigerian women and youths from underserved communities with essential 21st-century skills

He said that this includes a plan to train 5,000 women and girls in areas such as data science and artificial intelligence through the Arewa Tech4Ladies initiative.

Balogun said that this initiative was a commitment to enhance the representation and inclusion of women in the tech sector.

He said that in 2023, Google launched this pioneering programme to train 5,000 women and girls in data science, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurial digital technologies.

“Today, I am thrilled to announce the launch of a new educational initiative – `The AI for Beginners in Hausa Learning Series’.

“This video series is a key part of our Arewa Tech4Ladies programme, tailored specifically to make learning about Artificial Intelligence accessible in the Hausa language.

“By bringing AI education to the forefront in a local language, we aim to demystify technology and make it relatable and understandable for thousands of women and girls across the region”.

“These series are not just educational tools.

“They are bridge connecting untapped potential with the global digital economy”.

He said: “In Google. we have trained over 3,453 women and girls in foundational tech skills.

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“This training has enabled them to participate in local tech-related employment and entrepreneurial ventures, showcasing the direct impact of our efforts on the economic empowerment of women in Northern Nigeria,”.

Also speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of DNS, Dr Bayo Adekanmbi. said that by making AI education accessible in Hausa, the partnership was creating opportunities for innovation, entrepreneurship, and social impact.

“These women are the future leaders and innovators of Northern Nigeria, and AI is the tool that can amplify their potential,” Adekanmbi said.

Dr Kadhifu Inuwa, Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, in his presentation on “AI in Education” , said that a lot had been missed because AI was not being taught in local language.

According to Inuwa, NITDA is aware of what Google has done in ensuring digital skills for citizens

The D-G was represented by Dr Ahmed Tambuwal, Head, Digital literacy and Capacity Building Department of NITDA (NAN)

Stellamaris Ashinze
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