Partnerships will ensure inclusivity for Nigeria’s AI strategy

The newly formed AI Collective will develop an inclusive approach to Nigeria’s AI initiatives, both domestically and globally. 

Luminate will provide $1.5 million over the next three years to support the work of the three organisations managing the AI Collective: Data Science Nigeria, Lagos Business School, and the Center for Journalism, Innovation, and Development. This funding will enable the three organisations to bring together expertise from civil society, academia, tech, and other sectors to work on governance, research, and innovation. The AI Collective will be housed within the National Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).


Nigeria recently broke ground in developing a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy through a week-long, high-level workshop with over 100 Nigerian experts creating the starting point for the country’s AI initiatives. Dr ‘Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister for Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, officially announced the AI Collective at the workshop’s conclusion. 

The AI Collective is a community of practice charged with supporting strategy development, and ensuring ethics and safety are central to the advancement of AI in Nigeria. Dr. Tijani commended the partnership, reiterating the importance of including diverse voices in global AI conversations. 

“We all know that the strength of a network is determined by the value that each node on the network brings to it. In a truly connected world, your partnership with us only ensures that our world is stronger because Nigeria and Africa have something significant to contribute to that network,” said Dr. Tijani.

Your partnership with us only ensures that our world is stronger because Nigeria and Africa have something significant to contribute to that network."


Toyin Akinniyi, Vice President, Africa at Luminate added, “We look forward to seeing how the work of the AI Collective informs Nigeria’s approach to AI, inspires other work across the continent, and adds to the global discussions on the governance and guardrails needed for this potentially transformative technology. The responsible utilisation of AI can lead to more efficient public services, fostering effective governance and better addressing the needs of the population.”

The AI Collective will cover three distinct areas of work, each overseen by the three managing organisations:


The Centre for Journalism, Innovation and Development (CJID) is a technology and knowledge-producing think tank that supports and empowers African media. CJID is coordinating the Collective’s work around AI governance, collaborating with other civil society organisations and media NGOs to explore the implications of AI on the information ecosystem. 

"We believe conversations on the future of new digital technologies and artificial intelligence should include critical perspectives from African policy experts with a vibrant media understanding and framing for policy uptake,” Akintunde Babatunde, CJID’s Programme Director, said. “With this, we hope to advance knowledge production on various use cases of AI while working with media organisations and civil society groups to explore the implications of AI on the information ecosystem and society more broadly.”


As a renowned academic research institute, the Lagos Business School (LBS) leads knowledge building for the AI Collective, while training and nurturing talent through academic courses and research projects. 

“We are excited to be part of the AI Collective, born from the National AI Strategy workshop, where leading academics, experts, and policymakers gathered to explore AI's potential and craft strategies and outcomes that will reshape Nigeria’s AI landscape,” said Olayinka David-West, Associate Dean of Information Systems at LBS. “Within the Collective, LBS will continue to nurture the National AI Research Scheme and other research initiatives, support the development of evidence-based AI policies, develop national AI curricula to boost AI literacy and adoption, foster academia-industry collaboration, set ethical standards, and seek international partnerships. Together, we'll drive Nigeria's AI innovation responsibly for societal benefit.”


The first dedicated AI start-up incubation hub in Nigeria, Data Science Nigeria (DSN) plays an important role in the Collective. DSN is spearheading initiatives aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in AI, establishing a platform for start-ups to both develop and scale AI solutions. 

DSN CEO and Founder Dr Olubayo Adekanmbi said, “This is a watershed moment for us as a nation. With an inclusive, collaborative, and multi-stakeholder AI ecosystem, we are set for more localized AI innovations and the opportunity to make AI-powered solutions more responsible and nuanced for people who need it most”.

Luminate is pleased to support the important work that these organisations are leading for the AI Collective. We hope that this work will gather momentum, additional support, and play a central role in shaping Nigeria’s approach to the development of AI technology.