Bosun Tijani, co-founder, and CEO of Co-Creation Hub (CCHUB), has been appointed as Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy by President Tinubu just two weeks after he was named a minister-designate. The tech entrepreneur whose portfolio pictures the needed industry experience in the country would have to face a new set of challenges that is distinct from the tech startup ecosystem he had built.
As the need for a stable government increases, tabs would be put on Tijani to carry out such an exacting task in the country’s development. Let’s dive into how he metamorphosed from a tech guru to a minister.
Who is Bosun Tijani?
Olatunbosun Tijani, a 46-year-old Nigerian-British entrepreneur earned a diploma in Computer Science and a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Jos in 2002 after he completed his initial education and enrolled in the MBA program “Venture in Management” offered by Lagos Business School, Accenture, and Junior Achievement a year after.
As a dedicated enthusiast for education, he secured an MSc in Information Systems and Management from Warwick Business School in 2007. He participated in the Innovation for Economic Development executive program at Harvard Kennedy School in 2013. And, more recently, he accomplished a PhD in Innovation & Economic Development from the University of Leicester.
How he started out
While Bosun Tijani was yet to become an entrepreneur, he had a promising career having served as a Business Development Manager at DeliveryKing between 2003 and 2004. He additionally oversaw the management of the ODel learning center at the Africa Virtual University in Kenya and successfully facilitated the deployment of the HP, IEEE, and University of Ibadan telecenter in Nigeria for approximately one year when he served as the Deployment Lead (Africa) for Hewlett Packard (HP) Global Micro-enterprises Acceleration Programme (GMEAP).
Furthermore, he took the initiative to lead and accomplish the deployment of the HP Micro-enterprise Acceleration Programme learning center at the Lagos Business School in Nigeria which was instrumental in the deployment efforts in Egypt and Morocco. From November 2005 to May 2007, he served as an ICT Consultant at the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), overseeing the conception, execution, and administration of ICT projects aimed at trade development in developing nations.
Notably, he effectively spearheaded the creation and launch of a web-based marketing and information services initiative in Ghana from March to September 2006 which was subsequently replicated in Uganda and Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Tanzania.
Aside from these career trajectories, he also served as a Project Manager at INNOTEX and assumed the role of rNET Manager for the Pan-European Research Network of Universities involved in the Framework Programme. Tijani’s versatility became evident when he became an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research.
His entrepreneurial journey
In December 2010, Tijani co-founded CcHUB in Nigeria, a space where people like tech experts, social entrepreneurs, and more can work together to solve problems in Nigeria. They’ve done projects like Lagos Innovation Hotspots and i-HQ to help use technology for good changes.
CcHUB also started a fund called Growth Capital in 2016. This fund supports new businesses that use tech to make important things better in Nigeria. Many helpful people invest in these startups to help them grow. In 2019, CcHUB got Kenya’s iHub and Tijani became the CEO with the aim to make startup communities even better. CcHUB also plans to make money by giving advice to companies, governments, and organizing events. They believe this will help them make more money for their projects.
Tinubu appoints him as minister
Due to his contribution to the growth of the Nigerian tech ecosystem through his tech company, CCHub, President Bola Tinubu appointed Tijani as the minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy. This appointment which was confirmed on the list released by the presidency is tailored to Tijani to operate on the next level of innovation that the Nigerian ecosystem requires.
Tijani was probed during ministerial screening
Before the senate president, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and during his ministerial screening, Tijani faced tough questioning from senators during the screening process, for using the term “morons” in a tweet from 2021 and for tweeting against Nigeria that he does not appreciate the Nigerian passport and Nigeria as a nation.
When asked to clarify the statements, Tijani expressed regret to the members of the upper legislative chamber for calling them morons and expressed his strong dedication to Nigeria and its progress having mentioned that his tweet stemmed from a frustrating encounter he had with the Chinese Embassy.
Bosun Tijani’s remarkable journey from his educational pursuits to his diverse roles in various organizations highlights his unwavering commitment to innovation, social change, and the betterment of Nigeria which contributed to his appointments.
Bosun has earned recognition as one of the 100 Most Influential People on the continent, a distinction bestowed upon him by New Africa Magazine. In 2016, Tijani orchestrated and hosted a visit by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta at CCHub. Just two months ago, he took on the role of moderator for a discussion with Bill Gates during Gates’ visit to Nigeria, as a key component of the Pan-African Youth Innovation Forum 2023.
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