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Meet the First Member of Nigeria’s Startup Community to Claim a Cabinet Position

Nigerian tech investor and entrepreneur Bosun Tijani is in line to be the next minister of the country’s fast-growing digital economy after surviving a wave of objections by ruling party figures during a gruelling confirmation process. Tijani was one of 45 nominees for President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet confirmed on Monday. He had directed stinging rebukes at the president and his predecessor Muhammadu Buhari in various old tweets that critics cited last week to declare him unfit to be minister. “It’s the triumph of competence and a watershed moment for us,” Iyin Aboyeji, general partner at venture firm Future Africa and co-founder of two Nigerian billion-dollar startups, told Semafor Africa. The excitement around Tijani’s nomination as well as the early backlash point to how important technology has become for the future of value creation in Nigeria. It has sparked a debate as to whether active political participation by tech industry professionals will be necessary to improve on what has been achieved.