For the second year running, Microsoft through the 4Afrika initiative, is the lead sponsor of the 2019 Data Science Nigeria (DSN) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Bootcamp, an all-expenses-paid learning Bootcamp that builds Nigeria’s capacity in the use of advanced machine learning and deep learning concepts and drives the application of AI for socio-economic development.
The Bootcamp will be held between 19 and 24 November 2019 in Lagos and will focus on the use of modern tools, particularly Microsoft Azure in Deep Learning, applied to concepts including convolutional neural networks, cognitive systems, and natural language processing.
The Bootcamp is driven by a broader strategic intent to accelerate Nigeria’s development through the solution-oriented application of machine learning to solve social and business problems and to galvanize a data science knowledge revolution improving employability, technological innovations, and sustainable socio-economic development. This reinforces the DSN’s vision to create one million new jobs in the next ten years through world-class knowledge and best practices applications.
To support developers at the Bootcamp, international software and structure engineers from Microsoft will be on-ground to share knowledge and practical experience. Selected under the volunteering program, MySkills4Afrika, these leading experts will have the extended opportunity to train and mentor students on the day, helping to build the capacity of local AI developers.
“We were so impressed by the talent at last year’s DSN, which tasked developers with creating solutions for financial inclusion, and look forward to collaborating with DSN again this year,” says Ryno Rijnsburger, Head of Skills Development, Microsoft 4Afrika. “To ensure everyone in Africa benefits from technology and the fourth industrial revolution, we need locally-relevant solutions that address African challenges. These solutions sit in the hands of our developers, which is why we’re empowering them to create and excel.”
Microsoft 4Afrika has been aggressively upskilling the African developer community in their use of modern technologies and equipping them to innovate in the fields of healthcare, education, finance, and agriculture. Through its 19 SkillsLabs), Interns4Afrika, MySkills4Afrika and startup/ISV development programs, Microsoft has paired developers with technical experts to gain real-world experience in cloud computing, secure coding, machine learning, and data analytics.
The Bootcamp will be heralded by a one-day industry stakeholders’ seminar on the theme, ’Artificial Intelligence for Socio-Economic Development’, on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The first artificial intelligence textbook for Nigerian primary and secondary schools written by the convener Data Science Nigeria, Bayo Adekanmbi, will also be unveiled at this event.
The 2019 Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp is fully residential, with free meals, accommodation and travel grants to all qualified candidates, who have gone through the intensive Kaggle competition and all the pre-study activities. The Bootcamp learning sessions will be enriched by 25 leading experts from different parts of the world, including : Margaryta Ostapchuk, Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Canada; Sabrina Smai, Software Engineer, Microsoft Canada; Tom Dietterich, Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University and founder of BigML; Dr. Nnana Orieke, Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft; Kris Sankaran, of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, Canada; Anima Anandkumar, Professor of Computing, CalTech, USA; Kathleen Siminyu, AI4Development, Kenya; Dr. Stephen G. Odaibo, CEO, RetinaAI, USA; Samuel Edet, founder of Colloq Initiative; Wale Akinfaderin, Senior Data Scientist, Duke Energy; Emmanuel Doro, Data Science Director, Walmart, USA; Uzo Mkparu, Group Head, CRM, Customer Analytics & Insights FCMB; Pascal Bernard, Head of Data Science, OneFi; Elaine Nsoesie, Assistant Professor, Boston University; Kunle Olukotun, Professor at Stanford University; Nicholas Litombe, Data Scientist and Physicist; Robert John, Data Science Officer, EnterFive; Dr. Sakinat Folorunsho, Lecturer, Computer Science, OOU; Olubayo Adekanmbi, Convener of Data Science Nigeria and Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, among others.
Data Science Nigeria is a non-profit initiative of MTN’s Chief Transformation Officer, Bayo Adekanmbi, spurred on by a compelling drive to raise a new generation of data scientists and knowledge entrepreneurs who will lead high-impact artificial intelligence research for socio-economic development, transformational innovation, and the economic prosperity of Nigeria and the African continent at large.