Over one hundred young people who had undergone Tech Talent and Data Science training at the SAIL Innovation Lab have gotten decent artificial intelligence jobs with Awari AI, a fast growing AI/Robotics firm that is enabling the development and adoption of frontier technology on the African continent starting from Nigeria.
The firm which has chosen the SAIL Innovation Lab in Ikorodu as a launchpad to several locations in Nigeria and Africa, also partnered with the SAIL Innovation Lab for continuous talent sourcing for the emerging multi-billion dollar AI industry that is expected to shape all spheres of life in a few years from now.
The co-founder of the SAIL Innovation Lab, the Senator representing Lagos East, Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, FCA, in his remarks said the launch of partnership with Awari AI signaled the beginning of a transformative journey in Ikorodu, and Lagos East Senatorial District as a whole.
He said, “The Awarri AI project, which we launch today, stands as a testament to our resolute commitment to embracing technology and innovation. It heralds a new era where industries will be redefined, jobs will be created, and our youth will be empowered.
“Throughout the annals of history, humanity has been witness to extraordinary revolutions. From the advent of steam power to the electrifying dawn of electricity, and from the proliferation of computers to the connected world of the internet, each era brought profound transformations to our lives.
“Today, we stand on the precipice of the 4th Industrial Revolution, a realm characterized by artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, biotechnology, and automation. This revolution promises unprecedented opportunities for Nigeria and Africa, and it is incumbent upon us to seize this moment”.
Senator Abiru disclosed that he was passionate about tech and digital skills because of the massive job opportunities and economic growth that the sector can facilitate. He recalled that since 2022 when he embarked on the SAIL Innovation Lab project with five pilot programmes, over 150 participants in-class and 1,200 online trainees have been impacted positively.
“Today, the SAIL Innovation Lab has left an indelible mark on the lives of over 4,173 participants through a diverse array of programs, including Tech Talent Development, STEM initiatives tailored for Senior Secondary School Students, Lagos East Teachers Fellowship, Start-Up Accelerator, and Data Science for Society.
“These programmes have now evolved to offer job prospects through our esteemed partner organizations. Awarri AI has taken the lead by employing nearly 100 of our graduates and pledging to continue its role as a platform for future outstanding participants seeking employment.
“In an era where digital skills have become an essential currency, the SAIL Innovation Lab serves as a bridge, closing the digital divide. Our vision is to provide free training to young individuals in high-demand tech skills and work collaboratively with our partners to secure them decent job placements”, Senator Abiru said in his remarks.
The co-founders of Awari AI, Mr. Silas Adekunle and Ms Eniola Edun, said Artificial intelligence is the new wave that should be embraced by Nigeria in its quest to harness opportunities in the current digital and innovation age.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, said the SAIL Innovation Lab has been achieving its goals in less than seven months after the state of the earth innovation lab was commissioned.
Dr Tijani said, “We set out to open up the minds of young people to opportunities that are available globally, and these opportunities are no longer the preserve of the developed world. We live at a time when technology now connects each and everyone of us strongly. The technologies have given us the opportunities to overcome barriers and be part of the global economy.
According to him, Artificial Intelligence due to its foreign origin, “We (Nigerians) have not been able to participate fully and harness its benefits.For the first time in the history of Nigeria and anywhere in Nigeria, Awari AI have decided to start a company that will focus on building that knowledge so that computers will also think like us. For the first time in Nigeria, hundreds of people are being hired from the SAIL Innovation Lab”, the minister said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Science, Innovation and Technology, Hon. Tunbosun Alake, disclosed that the State Government will be partnering on the project. He thanked Senator Abiru for driving the initiative.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion include: former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye; ex-Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; HRM Oba Engr. Kabir Adewale Shotobi, Ayangbure of Ikorodu; Oba Engr Bashir Sotonwa, Sekumade of Ipakodo; Oba (Barrister) Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, Adegboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom; Oba David Raji, Eweye of Isiu; Prince Amid Oduborisha, President Oriwu Club; Council Chairmen; Hon. Abidoun Moshood Aro; Hon Gbolahan Ogunleye; Dr. Saheed Oladapo Ibikunle; Hon(Princess) Adebimpe Akinsola; Alhaja Abiodun Ogunniyi; Mr Deji Abisola; Chief Impact Consultant on SAIL Innovation Lab who worked on the project till date, among many others.