Omobola Johnson, former ComTech Minister, joins Board of World Wide Web Foundation

September 4, 2018


Dr Omobola Johnson has been appointed as the newest member of the World Wide Web Foundation Board of Directors. Her expert knowledge of technology policy and commitment to enabling connectivity for all will provide invaluable guidance for the Web Foundation as we fight to ensure everyone can access the web and use it to improve their lives.

Omobola, who is currently a Senior Partner at TLcom Capital LLP, brings over 30 years of ICT experience across the private and public sectors. From 2011-2015, she served as Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, where she developed the country’s ambitious 2013-2018 National Broadband Plan, and worked more broadly to bring down the cost of internet access in Nigeria. During her time as Minister, the percentage of people online in Nigeria nearly doubled, growing from 24% of the population in 2010 to 43% in 2014.

Under her leadership, Nigeria became the first African country to join the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) — a global coalition, led by the Web Foundation, working to make broadband affordable for all. Since 2015, Omobola has served as A4AI’s Honorary Chair, where she has provided the Alliance with strategic policy guidance and has led high-level advocacy efforts to drive down the cost of internet. She will continue in this role through October 2018.

I did a close relationship advocacy work with Mrs Omobola Johnson while she was Minister of Communication Technology. I served on two of the few Committees she enpanneled. It was a period not to regret. Nor to forget.

She came prepared, thouroughly informed and intellectually ready. I had read, at close quarters, the performance and value of 27 other Ministers before her in an industry career that spanned 43 years. She falls in the top 3. No political leaning beyond the due respect for her employers, her focus on the issues and a good grasp of them was therefore given.

Her work as Minister is mentioned in my Memoire which still has ten months to be out. May be we wait.

Remarking on her appointment, Mrs Omobola Johnson is reported to have said:

“After three years as Honorary Chair of the Alliance for Affordable Internet, I am excited to continue my work to expand affordable internet access as part of the Web Foundation Board of Directors, as well as to work across a wider range of digital rights issues that are critical to securing the future of the free and open web.”

Welcoming Omobola, Afsaneh Beschloss, Chair of the Board of the Web Foundation, said:

“Dr Johnson will bring a depth of private sector and high-level government experience to her role on the Web Foundation board that will be invaluable in our mission to get everyone, everywhere connected. We look forward to working together to advance affordable internet access and online rights around the world.”

Adrian Lovett, President & CEO of the Web Foundation said:

“We are delighted to welcome Dr Johnson to the Web Foundation. Omobola’s extensive experience and leadership in the technology and telecommunications sector — both in Africa and across the globe — will strengthen our work and allow us to further progress toward our shared vision of digital equality.”

READERS’ TALKBACK:
ON OMOBOLA JOHNSON

“Yes. A well deserved honour. And she will deliver” – Chris Uwaje

“Congrats To Dr Omobola Johnson. A highly cerebral, articulate and respectable lady. A jolly good “fellow” I would say!! 👍🏽” – Tokunbo Jaiye-Agoro

“Such an inspiring profile! I wish her the very best!👍🏽” – Yetunde Abatan

“I also had a brief working relationship with her when she was serving as Minister and I was The NIEEE National Chairman. I had the privilege of presenting to her, in her own words, her *first professional certificate from Nigeria* as a registered member of The NIEEE. Highly cerebral, with good listening ears. She coopted us into one of the National Working Committee on Broadband Plan, though the activities were kind of short lived due to the change in democratic government afterwards.
I join you to salute the woman of substance! 👏” – ‘Kunle Sunday Makinde.

“I miss her.
For those of us who are not techies ..her clear vision for the industry articulated in the BB plan is a legacy that cannot be buried” – Ronke Adeyegbe

“She is so unique. A daughter of Chief Bayo Akinnola, the Ondo high Chief if I’m not making a mistake. A great unsong Minister” – Akin Akintola

“Good Morning Egbon!
Thank you for celebrating this rare gem of our time. In a country, where we hardly celebrate people with impeccable character and sense to duty, Sir, you win my heart today for standing out of the crowd and identifying with an omoluabi Eniyan which Omobola represents.

You were on point when you said she ranks in the top 3 of al the ministers that have gone through that portfolio. The Technology History of this country will not forget her in a hurry! Eku aigbagbe ana sir!
God bless you!” – Wale Sule

“Good lady, fine technocrat ” – Ajibade Oke.

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