Data Science Nigeria AI Bootcamp 2019: All You Need to Know

Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp 2019: All You Need to Know
Founded in December 2016 by Olubayo Adekanmbi, managed and run by Data Scientists Network Foundation, Data Science Nigeria (DSN) has grown to become a formidable non-profit organization with a vision to train, mentor and inspire 100,000 Nigerian undergraduates and graduates, to build new skills in Advanced Analytics/Data Science, and to create 1 million jobs/opportunities in data science/advanced analytics. DSN aims to build a local data science and Artificial Intelligence ecosystem that will position Nigeria to become the outsourcing hub for international Data Science/Advanced Analytics/Big Data projects with opportunity to access 10% share of the global data science outsourcing projects, which will be worth USD 3.3 billion in revenue by 2020.
A Brief History of Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp:
Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp: 2017
On the 12th October, 2017, DSN held the first  Big Data economy Summit which kick-started  the second bootcamp that ran for four (4) days at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos. During the summit, there were various and robust industry discussions about real-world applications of data science in the economy, consumer behaviour, health, business, city planning, security, agriculture, manufacturing and logistics. The summit was attended by leading experts, key players, and enthusiasts in the emerging big data industry. There was also the presence of key players from the developer and academic communities in Nigeria (Punch Nigeria).
Facilitated by seven PhD data scientists (on-site tutors and dial-in instructors) from the US and Canada, the 2017 bootcamp focused on machine learning algorithms, statistics, and the broad principles of data science applications in solving real word problems. Also, the Bootcamp hosted the 150 participants who qualified for the bootcamp through pre-qualification exams on Microsoft/Edx Data Science MOOC series and DataCamp then followed by a public Kaggle competition. During the bootcamp, there were three different hackathons which helped stimulate the learning environment for the participants (ProShareNg).
The hackathon on students’ performance prediction was won by Adeola Balogun, a female Computer Science student from the Obafemi Awolowo University who was in 400 level as at the time of the bootcamp (the lady in the picture below).
(Source: ProShareNg)
Another hackathon at the event sponsored by KPMG was the use of unsupervised learning to group banking customers based on many unrelated variables. The top-rated participants in the hackathon were chosen for internships with KPMG Nigeria. 

Followed in real-time on Twitter, the former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili “challenged the participants to drive the structural shift that the 2nd Machine Age has made imperative and advocated increasing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for girls”. She showered accolades on Adeola Balogun “for winning the general hackathon and for proving that women are smarter when it comes to logic-based disciplines like algorithm development” (ProShareNg). 
Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp: 2018
The Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp 2018 was held between 10th and 14th of October 2018 at the Peninsula Resort, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos. The bootcamp learning sessions were facilitated by outstanding data scientists from leading global institutions which included Google’s AI Lab, GitHub, MIIA and Bankable Frontiers Associate, USA. Also, leading executives and experts from the Nigerian banking, telecommunications industry, energy sector as well as investment sectors shared their invaluable contextual insights with the students (TechCabal).
For participation in the bootcamp, DSN released a 90-day pre-qualification study manual on machine learning and deep learning. The manual contained course outline for 15 weeks with a brief introduction to each key topic that spanned the week. There were also many links to online resources, research papers, conferences, datasets, and MOOCs where the participants could learn and practice data science. The prospective participants were allowed to either study the materials alone or in groups and/or attend the classes at the DSN AI Hub in Lagos (If you will like to have the 2018 study manual, download here).
After the 90 days the participants were required to participate in a Kaggle competition on Recommendation System. The competition assumed that the participants are Retail Data Analysts and they were required to build a predictive model which would enable to find out about the sales of each product at a particular supermarket (Data Science Nigeria 2018 Bootcamp Kaggle Competition). Out of over 10,000 students from 95 campuses who participated in the 4-stage competition (pre-qualification pre-study, a quiz, a Kaggle competition and a validation call), the top 75 students were selected for the bootcamp.
Focused on applying Artificial Intelligence to a real-world problem of financial inclusion in Nigeria, DSN 2018 bootcamp’s Machine Learning Hackathon was based on “loan default models for an anonymised real-world dataset of low-income customers and required the participants to use geographical data (longitude and latitude), historical usage and mobile phone behaviour to determine the likely risk of loan defaults” (Data Science Nigeria 2018 Bootcamp Hackaton–Zindi Africa Competition).
The challenge created a fictitious digital lending company named SuperLender. The company used credit risk models to deliver profitable and high-impact loan alternative. The participants were assumed to be data scientists, working for SuperLender. And since not all customers pay back loan, the company inundated its data scientists to build robust models to effectively predict the odds of repayment (Data Science Nigeria 2018 Bootcamp Hackaton–Zindi Africa Competition).
The 2018 Bootcamp was the first Inter-Campus Machine Learning competition organized by Data Science Nigeria as part of DSN’s mission and vision to enhance the opportunities and employability of Nigerian students through an incentivised exposure to advanced world-class knowledge. The Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition was sponsored by Bluechip Technologies Limited in commemoration of the company’s 10th year anniversary. Olumide Soyombo, the co-founder of Bluechip commented that, “we are proud to sponsor the 1st ever Intercampus Machine Learning Competition as part of our 10th anniversary, which is a demonstration of our commitment to knowledge development, especially in strategic areas like AI which will shape the future and make the world a better place” (TechCabal) .
During the bootcamp, various topics were explored such as anomaly detection, unsupervised classification, sequential rule mining, Deep Learning theories, Deep learning in Natural language processing. The participants were also drilled and allowed to brainstorm on real business problems, a session that was facilitated by the team leaders from companies like FCMB with a focus on “credit risk scoring”, Terragon Group on “AdTech recommendation,  Guardian News on “recommendation system”, Octave Analytics on “Financial inclusion geomapping”, Axa Mansard “AI for insurance” and Microsoft on “possibilities in MS Azure”.
At the end of the 5-day intensive bootcamp, three joint-winners emerged. They were Olajide Abdulrazzaq Folarin (from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State), Sadiq Aderinto and Stanley Obumneme Dukor (both of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos). The three winners earned a cash prize as shown in the picture below. They were also given an opportunity for a short-term internship at the Bluechip Technologies Limited.
(Source: TechCabal)
There is no argument that within 2 years of operation, from December 2016 to 2019, Data Science Nigeria has created a profound and world-class Artificial Intelligence knowledge, research and innovation ecosystem in Africa. DSN has become a force to reckon with when you talk of Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning or Deep Learning in Africa. DSN has published a 3-Year AI Roadmap (click here to download). You can also read about Data Science Nigeria Achievements.
Now, let’s move on to talk about Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp 2019.
Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp 2019
Data Science Nigeria bootcamp 2019 will be having 150 participants in attendance. The qualification path for the bootcamp is grouped into two: (i) Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition; and (ii) Deep Learning Competition
In other words, you can qualify for the bootcamp either by participating in the Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition or The Deep Learning Competition. Both qualification paths are good except that there are more benefits attached to the former since it is targeted at undergraduates in Nigeria.
How to Qualify for DSN Bootcamp through Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition and the Deep Learning Competition
                            (Source: GobalAI BootCamp)
First, you should know that the Data Science Nigeria 2019 Inter-Campus Machine Learning (ML) Competition is a program that aims at equipping Nigeria students with relevant skills with a view to enhance their employability and to offer them a competitive advantage for global industrial and academic opportunities while the Deep Learning Competition focuses on arming every Nigeria with Deep Learning skills  to  provide huge career and research opportunities and to explore possibilities in AI-driven innovation, start-ups and transformational applications in research/industry.
Who should Participate in the Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition?
All Nigerian undergraduates from Universities, Polytechnics, Monotechnics and College of Education.
Who should Participate in the Deep Learning Competition?
Every Nigeria who is interested in acquiring the skills that will place him/her at the vantage position with readiness for employability and contribution to the industrial growth and AI ecosystem.
Why should you  participate in the Inter-Campus Machine Learning/Deep Learning Competition?
According to the information found on Data Science Nigeria website, the participants will have the opportunity to:
  • Explore the emerging research opportunities globally
  • Begin the No. 1 most rewarding career in the world today (If you want to more about the career prospect in Data Science, read some remarkable facts here)
  • Have a knowledge trigger that can help you fulfil your entrepreneurial dream as an AI start-up, since Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence cut across all fields, including health, agriculture, medical, financial inclusion and so on, of which anyone could be the area of your entrepreneurial dream.
Special Benefits for Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition
  • There is a special recognition award for the top participants and schools with the highest number of participants.
How to participate in the DSN 2019 AI Bootcamp
Step 1: Since there is a limited space for participation, you should first confirm your interest in participating in the competition. You can do that by filling the Google form Registration for Data Science Nigeria AI Bootcamp 2019: Intercampus Machine Learning and Deep Learning Nigeria
Step 2: The bootcamp has 100 days pre-qualification classes that include online classes on YouTube and a special Microsoft Azure course to build industry-ready capacity. To participate in the Bootcamp, part of the requirements is to complete a 9-hour course which introduces you to Microsoft Azure and its basics. The free Azure Fundamentals course is available on the cloud society. Visit the course and the exam pages here:
If you can afford to pay for a certification of $80, you can also attempt the AZ-900 exam, which covers the same skills but Data Science Nigeria did not make this one compulsory for participants. However, if you are interested, you can take the exam here: DP-100.
Note: The Microsoft Azure courses are included to get the participants ready for the industry since most leading companies all over the world use this tool for Machine Learning and students with this knowledge can easily get good jobs. 
Step 3: After the study, you should submit your assignments, completion certificates and/or score sheet here DSN AI Bootcamp 2019 Pre-qualification Submission Page. All entries submitted before 23 September, 2019 will qualify for the Kaggle competition. Note: All participants must submit a proof of course completion.
Step 4: Upon submitting your assignment and score sheet, you will be given a unique link to participate in the Kaggle competition. Note: This link is for you and cannot be shared with anyone else. 
The Kaggle competition runs between 23 Sept. to 23 Oct., 2019. Note: You should submit as an individual submission. If any act of collusion or group cheating is discovered, DSN will disqualify you and any other person involved. 
Step 5: After you have completed the Kaggle competition, there will a telephone validation quiz. This will run between 24 October to 3 November, 2019. The telephone validation quiz is for authentication of your Kaggle submission.
Step 6: Having completed all of the above, you should patiently wait for the announcement of 2019 AI Bootcamp participants which will be on the 5th November, 2019.
Step 7: The top 75 participants from the Inter-Campus Machine Learning Competition and the top 75 participants from the Deep Learning Competition shall be invited to the bootcamp which is to hold between14th and 20th of October 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria
How to Prepare/Study for DSN 2019 AI Bootcamp Qualification
Data Science Nigeria has excellent and robust learning materials. There is no single learning path for the Kaggle competition. However, the following points will guide you through.
  • There is an ongoing 100 days Machine Learning and Deep Learning classes on YouTube. The class began on the 1st of May 2019 and is going to end on the 19th of September. The classes run all through the 100 days except for weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). The class is taught by Mehdi Ayyoubzadeh, a current PhD student at McMaster University, researching on Deep Learning and Image Processing. Each class is about an hour and the programming tool used for the class is Python. You can visit the YouTube classes HERE.
  • Another learning route is by attending the DSN AI weekend classes that run between May 1 to Sept. 19 2019 at the DSN AI Hub. You can engage in discussions, questions and answers via Slack and also share assignments. For you to attend this class, you must be a member of the AI+. To become a member, follow this link Data Science Nigeria AI Membership.
·         Also, DSN allows every participant to use any resources they can find online, offline or acquire DSN AI Knowledge boxes. This means that you can take courses that will prepare you for the competition via any MOOC.
Data Science Nigeria AI Bootcamp will hold between 19 November to 23 November, 2019. Be prepared!
Important Information:
As at the time of writing this article, the YouTube classes is on Day 55, which means there are 45 days left for learning. DSN has also organized a pre-Kaggle competition after 25 days of learning which allowed the participants to practice the algorithms or skills they have learnt so far. You can read about the competition here: DSN Pre-AI Bootcamp Titanic Survival Prediction
 If you just discovered this information or you know about it but have not started at all,  please do not fret or lose hope. You can still achieve a lot. The qualifying Kaggle competition is in 8 weeks which means you will have to make the best use of your time to catch up. In our own little way of helping, we are currently curating the best online resources that can help you prepare for the Kaggle competition within the remaining 8 weeks. Please comment below, so we can know someone is in dire need of those resources. And stay tuned!
More so, in order to contribute to the effort of Data Science Nigeria, we at Jarvis Magazine have prepared some materials for anyone who is interested in learning and participating in the bootcamp. By sending us a mail at or contacting +2348039593146 via Whatsapp ONLY, you will have the materials delivered to you.
About Olubayo Adekanmbi, the Convener of Data Science Nigeria
Olubayo Adekanmbi, the Convener of Data Science Nigeria, is a leading expert in Data Science, Advanced Analytics, Business Transformation, Marketing and Strategy, with 19 years of  experience. He has served in various areas as well as in various capabilities. He is currently serving as the Chief Transformation Officer of MTN Nigeria. In time past, he served as General Manager Business Intelligence and Chief Marketing/Strategy Officer. 
As a Data Scientist, Mr. Olubayo Adekanmbi has won Kaggle Competition Bronze, currently No. 1 on the Data Science Dojo In-class Capstone project Leaderboard and also, among the top 1% out of over 11,000 data scientists competing on the Kaggle Titanic Machine learning survival model. He is a Doctoral-level scholar doing a combined PhD programme at the University of London (CityU) and TIAS Business School, the Netherlands. His research works include the  application of Data science algorithm to understand the effect of customer social networks on consumption behaviour in luxury and telecoms industry.
Among the awards won by Adekanmbi were the Most Influential People of Africa Descent (Class of 2018) award and the prestigious MTN Yello Star award for the conceptualisation of a Customer Value/Risk Management framework, which led to multi-billion naira revenue growth. He recently added another feather to his cap when he was announced the winner of the 2019 Maathai Impact Award from the DeepLearning Indaba. 
Facts About Data Science Nigeria Bootcamp
  • The bootcamp is fully residential, all-expense-paid with travel grant to participants traveling to the venue from outside of Lagos State.
  • It’s a week intensive training
  • The top participants are usually awarded
  • There is special consideration for female competitors
  • The bootcamp includes rigorous and indelible learning as well as fun activities, with a hackathon to determine the overall best machine learning students.
  • Food, accommodation and lectures  are all free.

Some Facts About Data Science Nigeria

  • DSN currently has over 300,000 direct downloads of its book: Artificial Intelligence for Starter which was written to stimulate interest in Artificial Intelligence. In that book, there are various case studies and inspirational contribution from leading global AI experts including Prof Yoshua Bengio, Professor Emeritus Thomas G. Dietterich and Prof. dr. M. (Max) Welling.
  • 10,212 participated in the DSN 1st ever Intercampus Machine Learning competition
  • 12,234 online participants in Data Science courses – from registration to at least one class
  • DSN has offered over 1,500 hours of free classes in Data Science and Machine learning applications in 30 states of Nigeria
  • DSN has provided 205 direct job placements, project participations and internships.
  • 4 innovative product ideas have been borne out of DSN programs.
Thank you for reading. If you find this article informative and interesting, please share with others. The next best Data Scientist or Machine Learning Engineer in Africa might be someone on your contact list.  
Also, if you have any question or you feel this article doesn’t cover all you need to know about Data Science Nigeria 2019 AI Bootcamp, feel free to comment in the comment section below.
For learning materials to help prepare for participation in the qualifying Kaggle competition, don’t forget to reach out: or
+2348039593146 via Whatsapp ONLY.
Disclaimer: The large percentage of the information in this article is curated from Data Science Nigeria online platforms. This article is pieced together to enable aggregation of essential information about DSN Bootcamp that are scattered over the web. Therefore, this article should be seen as supplication of information only and not for personal profit of the author.
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Dammy Michael

About Dammy Michael

Dammy Michael enjoys writing stories around technologies

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5 Comments on “Data Science Nigeria AI Bootcamp 2019: All You Need to Know”

  1. I'm glad Data Science Nigeria created this kind of platform so as to tutor people that are interested in going into the field of AI/ML/data science .
    I'll be so glad to be a part of this community

  2. Is it possible for me to participate in this dsn boot camp?. I have basic knowledge on programming languages including java c++ . If it is possible what are my odds and also what would it require of me?

  3. Okay. It's nice showing interest in this bootcamp.

    The two most popular programming languages for data science are Python and R. They have robust libraries that can quickly execute ML or DA algorithms. More so, there's a large community for them, meaning that it is easier to get help online. So I'd advise you pick either of the two aforementioned languages.

    There's an online MIT course that teaches data analytics and some ML algorithms using R. You can enroll for such course. You pick the language at the same time you're learning the algorithms.

    As regards your odds, my take is that the odds are always in your favour if you're ready to work hard enough.

    Third, what you need to participate in the bootcamp is highlighted in the article. You may need to go through it again.

    I hope this helps.

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