Reflecting on Bosun Tijani’s first 50 days as Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy
You might be pondering, “What can one accomplish in a mere 50 days as a minister?” Well, the quick answer is “a lot.”
While the standard gauge for new leadership is often the first 100 days, why wait when significant strides can be achieved in half that time?
Following the inauguration of a new administration in Nigeria on May 29, 2023, Dr. Bosun Tijani, Co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub, was appointed on August 16, 2023, and subsequently sworn in as the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy on August 21, 2023.
Tijani’s appointment didn’t come as a surprise, given his illustrious track record in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem dating back to 2015 when the tech landscape was still budding.
Many stakeholders view his new role as the ideal platform to catalyze a transformation of Nigeria’s digital economy through innovation.
In the early days of Nigeria’s startup scene, his brainchild, Co-creation Hub (CcHub), nested in Lagos, served as the springboard for numerous startups and tech pioneers who now consider CcHub their foundational connection in the tech ecosystem.
Today marks the Minister’s 50th day in office. A cursory examination of Tijani’s activities reveals a priority placed on enhancing engagement with stakeholders both domestically and internationally.
As per the ministry’s mandate, it aims to harness ICT as a pivotal instrument in Nigeria’s transformation agenda, encompassing job creation, economic growth, and transparent governance.
The overarching goal is to foster a robust digital economy that bolsters security, enhances transparency, and diversifies Nigeria’s economic landscape, as outlined in the current administration’s manifesto titled “The Digital Economy: Taking Advantage Of The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Highlights of Tijani’s First 50 Days in Office:
The Minister kickstarted his tenure with a series of tours, including visits to the e-Government Training Centre in Kubwa, where the Women ICT Training and Empowerment program and SB4KIDS are concurrently underway. He expressed his intent to extend these initiatives to all states in the nation.
Following these tours, Dr Bosun Tijani met with Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, HE Mohamed Badaru, to explore how technology and innovation can enhance Nigeria’s security infrastructure.
The Ministry, under his guidance, is in the process of assembling a roster of top Nigerian researchers from around the world to collaborate on crafting a National AI Strategy.
This strategy aims to shape Nigeria’s approach to developing innovative tech solutions for pressing national issues.
Recognizing that over 40 million people in the country are considered unemployed, the Minister convened a meeting with key tech stakeholders on August 29 to devise innovative approaches to fulfilling one of the current administration’s pledges: creating one million new jobs in the ICT sector within the first 24 months.
This engagement, as the Minister noted, marks the initial step in a series of ecosystem collaborations to source the best solutions domestically.
Community Innovation Spaces
The Minister has set ambitious objectives, including the revitalization of community innovation spaces and digital labs.
His plans involve optimizing these spaces to promote digital literacy, foster innovation, and kindle creativity, ultimately contributing to a more prosperous and inclusive economy.
In just 50 days, Minister Bosun Tijani has embarked on a dynamic journey aimed at reshaping Nigeria’s digital landscape and harnessing innovation to drive progress across various sectors.
These initiatives within Bosun Tijani’s first 50 days demonstrate a commitment to leveraging technology and innovation to drive economic growth, address unemployment, and transform Nigeria’s digital landscape.
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