Harnessing the AI wave: Nigerian tech’s leap into UK’s innovation ecosystem

Harnessing the AI wave: Nigerian tech’s leap into UK’s innovation ecosystem

Two weeks ago, AI experts converged at the Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit 2023 in London, United Kingdom. Top dignitaries from Nigeria and a select group of Nigerians working in the artificial intelligence field in the diaspora engaged in sessions to discuss how AI can be used in development and how these experts can help create a thriving digital economy in Nigeria.

International governments, top AI firms, civil society organizations, and experts in AI research also convened at the Summit to talk about the role AI plays in global development, the risks associated with it, and strategies to reduce those risks through globally coordinated action.

That said, the global tech scene today is abuzz with innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), and Nigerian tech companies are poised to ride this wave into the UK’s burgeoning AI ecosystem. The synergy between Nigeria’s emerging tech landscape and the UK’s strategic AI advancements presents a frontier brimming with opportunities.  

The UK is carving out its niche as a global AI leader, with a strategic vision that combines robust research and development (R&D), generous funding, and a conducive policy environment. The nation’s AI Sector Deal and the establishment of the Office for AI signal its commitment to fostering an AI-friendly ecosystem. According to the UK government’s National AI Strategy, the UK government has invested over £2.8 billion in AI since 2014.

In addition, the government has committed to investing almost £1 billion in AI research in the 2023 budget. This includes £900 million for a cutting-edge supercomputer that will help researchers develop new AI technologies. This commitment not only boosts local enterprises but also extends an invitation to international players to engage in the UK’s AI revolution.

Justin Chuka Aboh

For Nigerian tech companies, the UK’s AI ecosystem is akin to a vast resource pool from which to draw cutting-edge tools, expertise, and networks. The UK’s strategic AI focus encapsulates several advantages such as access to specialized AI talent, a climate of innovation, and the opportunity to collaborate on global AI projects.

On the other hand, Nigeria’s tech ecosystem exhibits a promising trend towards artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation, propelled by a youthful and tech-savvy populace. A practical next step, AI integration is becoming more and more apparent with the growth of fintech, health tech, and agri-tech companies. It takes more than just will, though, to integrate AI; it also needs a roadmap for engagement, a network of strategic partnerships, and a thorough understanding of UK AI policy.

At this juncture, the importance of platforms like Traavu becomes evident. Traavu is not merely a service provider but a strategic partner for Nigerian tech businesses aiming to scale globally. With services such as the AI Advisory, Advanced Discovery Matrix, and AI-guided Assessments, Traavu aligns tech business profiles with the UK Global Talent Visa pathway, paving the way for smooth relocation and business expansion to the UK.

Traavu’s Premium support extends beyond mere paperwork assistance. It encompasses access to digital tools, insights and proprietary resources enabling partners to make more informed decisions using data – critical elements that shape the narratives of Nigerian tech companies for a global audience.  

Traavu is already helping Nigerian businesses access the immense opportunities the UK has to offer especially regarding Artificial Intelligence. Average funding for AI startups has increased by 66% between 2021 and 2023, according to data from the Startups 100 Index.

For founders and senior executives, already playing in this space or seeking to do so, Traavu Business offers premium services that simplify the complexities of the UK Global Talent Visa (GTV). This visa program enables tech founders and their teams to move and live in the UK for up to 5years, setting up and building new or already existing businesses. More so, talented employees of tech businesses can also gain global advantages through this path. 

The UK government’s AI readiness initiatives present Nigerian tech companies with a spectrum of growth avenues. These range from direct investment to collaborative R&D projects that can lead to tech transfers and shared intellectual property. Such partnerships are not merely transactional; they are transformative, offering Nigerian tech firms a chance to participate in shaping global AI solutions. 

Nigerian tech firms must actively seek partnerships with companies like Traavu, to position themselves towards other international tech collaborations. This is a prerequisite for establishing a successful global presence.

Justin Chuka Aboh 

Justin Chuka Aboh is a visionary Product Designer renowned for converting concepts into groundbreaking solutions. With a knack for narrative, he shapes user experiences that not only pique curiosity but also amplify the user’s perspective. His extensive portfolio spans a diverse set of sectors—fintech, healthcare, blockchain, finance, education, global mobility, and e-commerce—reflecting his versatility and commitment to innovation.

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