Data Science Nigeria Launches Africa’s First-Ever Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hub in UNILAG

The leading data science group in Nigeria, Data Science Nigeria (DSN), took a huge leap towards its goal of seeing Nigeria become Africa’s leading hub for international data science, advanced analytics, and big data projects with the official opening of the first-ever Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hub in Africa, right here in the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

https://twitter.com/247kadia/status/1005070307110064129

Related Post: Data Science Nigeria to Launch Dedicated AI Hub for the Data Science Community in Nigeria at the University of Lagos

The AI Hub was launched officially, with the Vice-Chancellor, representatives from Microsoft, KPMG, FCMB, Chevron as well as a host of other industry players and enthusiasts coming around to support the community that will drive innovation to find solutions to the social/business challenges currently being faced in the country.

The hub will also improve the Artificial Intelligence methodologies in the country, source new ideas, and talents with a focus on deep learning and the data analytics space.

Speaking at the launch, Mr. Bayo AdekambiFounder DSN, described the hub as a research-driven innovation hub set to improve information technology across the country with series of mentoring, masterclass sessions, meetups, and the monetizatisation of ideas facilitated by well-seasoned AI experts and Bootcamps.

He said:

We are not here to just set up the hub but to work you through the world of data science, experts will always be available to assist you when the need arises. We are setting up this community in Unilag so that we can work and learn together.

Related Post: Data Science Nigeria (DSN) Launches Mentorship Initiative With 40 Mentors

Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor O.T. Ogundipe, commended Data Science Nigeria Hub innovation, saying the initiative complements the university’s focus on innovation and incubation. Professor Ogundipe reassured the hub of continued support from the school’s management.

A drone being used to capture the data of participants. The data which is going to be used to understand participants reactions, correlation & insight.
A drone being used to capture the data of participants. The data will be used to understand the participants’ reactions, correlation & insight.

Other speakers included Wale Olokodana, Director, Enterprise Commercial Segment; Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa, Acting Director of ICT (UNILAG); Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, FCMB; and Yomi Akinyemi, KPMG who all spoke describing the hub as a novel initiative that would use Information Technology to foster the IT industry in Nigeria.

The opening also featured a special mini-hackathon session on “Artificial Intelligence and Financial Inclusion in Nigeria” which was anchored by the Director, Global Development Strategy, Data and Analytics of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Uyi Stewart. It had about five groups make their presentations on how to get digital information from the “invincible” low-income with no data trail in order to provide them with loans they would need from banks.

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Prizes ranging from bags, polo shirts, water bottles, and torch key holders courtesy of DSN and KPMG were given to the winning group and other individuals who answered various questions. There were also announcements of DSN’s other programmes for the year with the main one being its 3rd annual Data Science Bootcamp and Hackathon designed to explore emerging trends in natural language processing, chatbot development, and deep learning.


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