When the Nigerian government announced plans in April to develop a multilingual artificial intelligence tool to boost digital inclusion across the West African nation, 28-year-old computer science student Lwasinam Lenham Dilli was thrilled.

Dilli had struggled to scrape datasets from the internet to build a large language model (LLM), used to power AI chatbots, in his native Hausa language as part of his final-year project at university.

"I needed texts in English and their corresponding translation in Hausa, but I couldn't get anything online; (there was) no clean data," Dilli said.