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Digital economy bill will unlock EdTech investment, Nigeria’s tech minister says

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A proposed bill on National Digital Economy and e-Governance will drive EdTech investment in Nigeria, according to the country’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani. 

The proposed legislation passed its first reading in the National Assembly on Monday. The bill aims to improve digital literacy and skill development, a key enabler of EdTech adoption. It was sponsored by Adedeji Olajide, Chairman of the House Committee on Digital and Information Technology. The bill’s key provisions include maintaining a National Digital Skills Register, providing an enabling environment for exchanges of digital services, and digital and capacity-building initiatives for young Nigerians.

“This bill is far superior to a mere policy,” Tijani said during the Mastercard Foundation EdTech Conference held in Abuja on Tuesday. “Its passage by the National Assembly will empower EdTech startups to design solutions with scalability in mind.  I’ll be addressing a conference soon about the digital economy bill for Nigeria.”

Half of Nigeria’s population lacks digital skills. The country has set an ambitious goal of attaining 95% digital literacy by 2030, with the support of the country’s tech regulator, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

If enacted, the Digital Economy Bill will join the list of landmark policies targeted at supporting Nigeria’s tech ecosystem. In October 2022, then-President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Nigeria Startup Act into law. In May 2023, Nigeria approved a National Blockchain Policy.

The tech minister strongly believes in creating local laws to improve technological innovation in Nigeria. 

“Let’s move away from the approach that a startup is building solutions in a few schools, hoping it will scale. It does not scale because we are not engaging at the level that should make it scale.” 

He tasked ecosystem players to stop building in silos and put hands together to push more laws that can grow the sector.

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