Nwogugu named among 10 finalists for Africa Education Medal 2023
Nigeria’s Simi Nwogugu, the Chief Executive Officer of JA Africa, has been named among the top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal 2023. Founded last year by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Microsoft, the Africa Education Medal is Africa’s most prestigious education accolade.
The Africa Education Medal was established to recognise the works of those who are transforming education across the continent – to celebrate the stories of those who have lit the spark of change so others will be inspired to take up the torch. It is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education.
JA Africa is part of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs that prepare young people for the future of work.
She was first introduced to JA while working at Goldman Sachs in New York City. Impressed by the organisation, she quit her lucrative job at age 24 to bring JA to Nigeria, where it now reaches more than 100,000 young people yearly, before going on to head up JA’s operations across the continent.
The importance of Nwogugu’s work is highlighted by the fact that 60 per cent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa and about 37 per cent of its workforce are under the age of 25. By 2025, Africa will be home to 25 per cent of the world’s youth population.
Through the delivery of hands-on, blended learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, her organisation empowers young people to grow their entrepreneurial ideas, hone their work readiness skills, manage their earnings and secure better lives for themselves, their families, and communities.
Senior Education Business Leader, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, at HP, Mayank Dhingra, said: “Nwogugu’s effort to improve education is an inspiration to many and expressed hope that others will follow in her footsteps to become leaders in the field.”
The HP boss said the organisation has a goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people globally by 2030.
“Only by joining forces and aligning with NGOs, government, educators and businesses can we truly improve the education environment. The Africa Education Medal brings together all those who are changing the face of African education, whose vital work deserves to be celebrated,” Dhingra said.
Founder and CEO of T4 Education, Vikas Pota, said African teachers, school leaders and government leaders, play a crucial part in unlocking the continent’s potential through quality education.
Pota noted that African education stands at a crossroads in the wake of the pandemic, but if leaders from across the continent in every field can work together, then they can build the lasting change needed.
“I congratulate Nwogugu on her achievements in skilling Africa’s young people and I hope her success serves as a rallying cry for change makers to come forward and make a difference,” Pota added.
The winner will be announced in July. A Jury comprising prominent individuals based on rigorous criteria will assess finalists.