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National Association Of Artificial Intelligence Practitioners Elects, Unveils Pioneer Leaders



National Association Of Artificial Intelligence Practitioners Elects, Unveils Pioneer Leaders
Emeritus Professor Peter Akinsola Okebukola, NAAIP FOUNDER

By Daniel Dafe

The National Association of Artificial Intelligence Practitioners, NAAIP, has unveiled its pioneering executive officers.

The ceremony took place on the 10th of May, 2024.

National Association Of Artificial Intelligence Practitioners Elects, Unveils Pioneer Leaders

Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, NAAIP FOUNDATION PRESIDENT

The keenly contested election that brought in the said leaders took place on the 6th of May.

These distinguished leaders, elected through a transparent rigorous process, will steer the association toward its mission of advancing AI education and practice across Nigeria.

The leaders are men and women who have made their marks in academics, research, educational administration and community development, nationally and internationally.

Most of the foundation officers are former or serving Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Rector and other highly placed officers in the Higher Education sector.

The President of NAAIP, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede is the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Other elected foundation officers are Professor Shehu Adamu Iya (Vice President North East); Professor Nasiru Maiturare (Vice President North West); Professor Emmanuel Samu Dandaura (Vice President North Central); Professor Elisabeta Smaranda Olarinde (Vice President South West); Professor Joy Eyisi (Vice President South East); Professor Jonathan Tsetimi (Vice President South South); Dr. Kehinde Abiola (General Secretary); Professor Aleruchi Chuku (Assistant General Secretary); Professor Khadijat Adenola Yahaya (Treasurer) and Professor Nkechinyere Nwokoye (Publicity Secretary).

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The President, Professor Ogunbodede, during the ceremony expressed deep appreciation to the visioner and founder of NAAIP, Emeritus Professor Peter Akinsola Okebukola (OFR) who is also the Facilitator-General of the Virtual Institute for Capacity Building in Higher Education (VICBHE) that conducted the AI course that produced the Charter Members of the Association.

He added that the establishment of NAAIP is another testimony to the giant strides taken by Professor Okebukola as he continues to contribute meaningfully, on many fronts to the development of education, globally.

He described Professor Okebukola who is also a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), as the number one Education Ambassador for Africa and a pride to Nigeria.

Speaking further, the President said the use and dominance of AI has become unstoppable, sayings it continues to evolve, just as he said that its effect will shape the future of global economy.

Furthermore, he opined that Nigeria has been put at an advantage with the inauguration of NAAIP.

Professor Ogunbodede pledged the support of the Association to the Federal government in its bid to establish a national strategy and develop a road map to harness the potentials of AI for the overall benefit of the Nigerian society and the economy.

He called on the Federal Government to aim at positioning the country as a leading AI hub on the continent of Africa.

Ogunbodede assured that NAAIP will support the Federal Government in its noble objectives and will also support the researchers, educators, developers and AI enthusiasts to collectively provide quality services that will increase production and productivity of governance in all sectors of the economy.

However, the NAAIP President observed that as promising as AI technologies are, and even with the myriad of strengths and opportunities, it has become evident that it has some weaknesses and threats. To ameliorate these negative attributes, he promised that NAAIP will promote ethical practice of AI and ensure responsible use of AI in our society.

The NAAIP will promote advocacy and Policy Development to shape regulations and guidelines that promote the responsible and equitable use of AI, support research on AI matters, and strengthen education at all levels in the country, he added.

He continued: “The Association enhances the provision of educational resources to accelerate understanding of AI technologies and their impacts in the society. It will develop ethical frameworks and best practices to guide the development and deployment of AI systems in a manner that prioritizes safety, fairness, transparency, and accountability, collaboration and networking among AI professionals, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to foster innovation and knowledge exchange.“

On membership, the NAAIP is open to individuals, organizations, and institutions committed to advancing the ethical development and deployment of AI technologies. The benefits to members include continuous capacity development, networking opportunities and access to educational resources. The Association is committed to working hand-in-hand with the Virtual Institute for Capacity Building in Higher Education (VICBHE) for its training programmes and will engage in National and International collaborations with organisations having similar aims and objectives.

On his part, the Visioner and Founder, Emeritus Professor Okebukola described the establishment of NAAIP as another veritable evidence that Nigeria is the leading country in Africa, in terms of educational developments.

He pledged his continuous support for the Association and expressed his confidence in the ability of NAAIP to take the lead in AI not only in Africa but internationally, judging by the caliber and commitment of the officers and members.

The National Association of Artificial Intelligence Practitioners (NAAIP) was founded on April 29, 2024 as a high point of the Graduation Ceremony of 931 participants drawn from Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education across Nigeria that participated in a 13-week rigorous training on the use of Artificial Intelligence to support teaching, research and community engagement.

The NAAIP drew its membership from the graduates of the Module 8 course as the recognized chartered members of the Association.


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