"Nigeria represents both the present and the future of the internet", says Tim Berners-Lee on Lagos visit

To mark the 30th anniversary of the internet, founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee took to Lagos to see the growing tech ecosystem, hosted by African VC, TLcom. He also met with women in tech.

"Nigeria represents both the present and the future of the internet", says Tim Berners-Lee on Lagos visit

Sir Tim Berners-Lee (TimBL) was in Lagos yesterday, March 13, to mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web (WWW).

Computer Scientist, TimBL, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web was hosted by TLcom capital (TLcom), an Africa-focused Venture Capital (VC) firm at Westwood Hotel, Ikoyi.

TLcom is one of the leading VCs focused on the African market. They have invested in companies like Andela, Kobo360, Terragon, Twiga Foods, and mSurvey. Their motivation to put together the event comes from "TLcom's continued focus on how entrepreneurship, the internet and web-based technology can make an impact on the continent", according to a press release sent to Benjamin Dada.

The occasion which was hosted in partnership with the Web Foundation, saw one of its board members and a Senior Partner at TLcom, Dr Omobola Johnson discuss strategies to close the digital gender divide in Nigeria. Also, she touched on how they (Web Foundation) are driving social and economic inclusion in Nigeria.

Middle, Omobola Johnson and Right, Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Working alongside CcHub, they treated the founder of the Web Foundation and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), TimBL to a tech industry reception with representatives from Africa's tech community in attendance including Elo Umeh, CEO, Terragon and Etop Ikpe, CEO Cars45.

Specifically, she mentioned that Sir Tim Berners-Lee alongside others were working with Nigerian stakeholders (governments, companies and citizens) to build a new contract for the Web.

As much as Sir Tim’s attendance is a reflection on the opportunities the internet has provided, it is also about the potential it holds for Africa moving forward. Sir Tim’s and the Web Foundation’s ethos of bringing interconnected communities together to shape our internet’s future, and ensure the web is fit for purpose for a global community, is one that resonates completely with us at TLcom.
We are delighted to be hosting him here in Lagos, and hope he will be inspired by our collaborators in the tech ecosystem.
Dr Omobola Johnson

This comes as part of the line up for the internet's 30th birthday, where TimBL announced his wish in an open letter to build a better web that serves all of humanity.

Touching on the potential within Nigeria, Sir Tim Berners-Lee also added that the country represents the present and future of the web.

With its vibrant tech community and several millions yet to be connected to the internet, Nigeria represents both the present and the future of the internet and the web.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Indeed, Nigeria shows much potential. According to GSMA (2018), by 2025, the country is expected to have as many as 135 million unique mobile subscribers, which is 6% jump in mobile penetration from 49% in 2018 to 55% in 2025. Also, about 50% of unique mobile subscribers make use of mobile internet services. Coupled with other statistics like growing smartphone adoption with penetration rate of 36%, it becomes clearer how the country can leverage the future of internet services. Take for instance, increased uptake in mobile money services, now at 3.3% for Nigerian adults, a 2.2% jump from 2016's .

Sir Tim Berners-Lee did not leave Lagos without inspiring some women in tech, many of which confessed that they were left inspired after his session.

C0ver photo credit: Web Foundation

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa