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Data science, artificial intelligence will propel Africa’s economy, Okonjo-Iweala says

A development Economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says educating students in computer science, data science and artificial intelligence is the…

A development Economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, says educating students in computer science, data science and artificial intelligence is the wave of the future as it will propel Africa forward.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who is the Chairperson, Board of Governing Council of African University of Science and Technology (AUST), stated this at the 8th graduation ceremony of the AUST in Abuja.

She said Nigerians had the productivity and the capability to be more productive than they are if they harnessed the skills.

“Right now, six out of the 10 fastest growing economy in the world are from Africa. Countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Senegal are all doing very well. Hopefully Nigeria and south Africa will soon join them because they are the two largest economy on the continent,” she said.

While noting that AUST is a centre of excellence and an incubator, she said the government had to support the school with the right policies.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala said: “We need government to put in supporting policies and to pay attention to education, what type of education and field, not just education. Are we giving our young people the right skill to compete? Are they being trained to be analytical not just what they learn in school with the brain? That is what will be needed because we don’t know what the job of the future will be like.”

“If we train people to be analytical, they will be able to adapt and develop the right skills and jobs,” she added.

Dr Okonjo-Iweala urged the graduands to do the university proud and change the narratives about Nigerians outside.