Posted on:

June 17, 2024

#WeekInReview: Full Week Recap of Activities of the Honourable Minister, Dr. ‘Bosun Tijani

HM WashingtonDC

INTRO [June 10 – 14]

Following his engagement last week in San Francisco, California, where he met with a number of innovation and technology stakeholders, Dr. Tijani travelled to Washington DC to take part in the World Bank Group-organised Nigeria Week 2024. The Nigeria Week event highlights various partnerships and engagements between the World Bank Group and Nigeria.

There, the Honourable Minister participated in a number of activities related to the Communications and Digital Economy sector, highlighting his Ministry’s plans aimed at implementing strategic initiatives targeted at improving the lives of Nigerian citizens.


Infrastructure and Capacity Development: Recognising infrastructure and capacity development as prerequisites for building a robust digital economy, the Honourable Minister met with international partners to outline areas of support and co-create ideas towards achieving set goals. 


  • The Honourable Minister attended the kick-off session of the Nigeria Week 2024 where he met with the World Bank Global Digital Development team to discuss Nigeria’s digital economy agenda, particularly our plan to build out 90,000km of fibre optic network. The project, which aims to increase Nigeria’s fibre optic capacity to 125,000km, will make the country Africa’s third-longest terrestrial fibre optic backbone, following South Africa and Egypt.
  • Dr. Tijani joined a panel where he gave a comprehensive overview of his agenda to grow Nigeria’s digital economy as outlined in his Strategic Blueprint. He highlighted a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry around training & capacity building (3MTT) and infrastructure development (Fibre Fund, Digital Public Infrastructure, Broadband Alliance, Project 774 LG Connectivity) – all of which will form the foundation of this growth. While responding to questions regarding his vision for how Nigeria can simultaneously develop and leverage the digital economy to mitigate against her current challenges, the Honourable Minister noted that technology boosts productivity in key markets across the world, and Nigeria plans to take advantage of this by strategically positioning its youthful population – with 70% of them under the age of 30 – to plug the talent gap in the global workforce. He went on to speak about the Ministry’s focus on facilitating improved connectivity, saying it will help to build trust and strengthen the ability of the private sector to innovate and solve socio-economic challenges. Members of the discussion panel include Rebecca Conrad, Chief Investment Officer; Christine Zhenwei Qiang, Global Director, Digital Development; and Franz Drees-Gross, Director of Infrastructure, Africa West Region, World Bank Group.
  • Dr. Tijani held a meeting with the Bank’s team represented by Ida Mboob, Senior Digital Development Specialist and Dr. Maryam Lawal, Digital Development Specialist. Both parties explored ideas on the possible structure for the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is set to deliver on the massive expansion of Nigeria’s fibre optic network. Technical details will continue to be expanded as discussions ahead of an upcoming stakeholder meeting scheduled for Abuja in 2 weeks. The fibre optic network project, which was recently approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will bridge the non-consumption gap by connecting over 200,000 educational, healthcare, and social institutions, ensuring broader access to internet connectivity.

“Last week, the Honourable Minister’s activities focused on the Knowledge and Infrastructure pillar objectives of his Strategic Blueprint as he engaged with key international partners including the World Bank Group, United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and WorldQuant University.”

  • While in Washington DC, the Honourable Minister marked Nigeria’s Democracy Day by delivering a message on his social media handles urging every Nigerian to prioritise the role of constructive conversations as we uphold our democratic values.
  • He also engaged in a meeting with representatives of WorldQuant University to explore opportunities for training and capacity development with a view to growing Nigeria’s digital economy. Of particular note was a proposal to design and launch an advanced Data Science programme for the benefit of 3MTT programme participants. The WorldQuant University team expressed commitment to support the Honourable Minister’s efforts towards delivering on his strategic objectives through capacity building. The team was represented by John Endrud, Chief Executive Officer and Prof. Landry Signe, Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Regional Action Group for Africa and Chair, The Africa Dialogues.
  • Dr. Tijani had a virtual meeting with representatives of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), an independent agency of the United States government set up to advance economic development in developing and middle income countries. At the meeting, both parties discussed modalities surrounding the U.S. led delegation of Nigerian investors to Washington DC for the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June and the high level commerce visit to Nigeria scheduled for July. The USTDA representatives at the meeting were Julie LeBlanc, US Commercial Counselor to Nigeria and Josh Egba, West Africa  Representative.

Isime Esene

Office of the Honourable Minister

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