MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
Lead innovator and Chief Operating Officer of Nigeria’s BOI Growth Platform, Mr. Uzoma Nwagba has been selected into the prestigious Global Eisenhower Fellowship.
Named after the 34th President of the United States – Dwight Eisenhower – the Fellowship selects the most impactful and innovative mid-career leaders from across continents to tackle pressing global challenges.
Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the Eisenhower Fellowship has selected 26 Fellows from five continents for its 2023 Global Program. Fellows commence with six weeks of intensive travels across the United States for engagements with leading executive and experts in their fields – including the US government, technology, venture capital, politics, medicine, banking, law enforcement, and academia.
Their travels help shape projects of impact they will undertake after they return home, with continued support from the Eisenhower network.
Announcing Nwagba’s selection in a February press release, Erin Hillman, President of the Eisenhower Fellowship says: “with the goal of ‘reversing perennial poverty in Africa’ by changing the paradigm from ‘aid for survival’ to ‘aid for productivity,’ the Growth Platform has provided more than $472 million in credit and grants to 4.1 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises since 2017.
Fifty-six percent of recipients are women and 57 percent are younger than 35. Aba, Abia State-born Nwagba, who earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2014, oversees daily operations and the Platform’s 22,000 staff and field-based loan officers. On fellowship he will develop an upskilling program he calls “Nigeria Valley” to train a new generation of software engineers, product designers, Web 3.0 developers and blockchain professionals who will work remotely from Nigeria in thousands of global jobs.”
Nwagba began his career as a software engineer at Microsoft, USA, designing mobile software for emerging markets. Following an advanced business degree, he returned to Nigeria an investment professional at ACA private equity, as one of 11 professionals on its $600m fund. Seeking greater impact, Nwagba joined Nigeria’s public service soon after and has been central in the design and execution of technology-driven public
interventions targeted as micro, small and medium enterprises. Some of these interventions include the World Bank’s NG-CARES, and the Federal Government’s GEEP (MarketMoni, FarmerMoni, TraderMoni) all domiciled in Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.
Nwagba’s selection adds yet another example to the ongoing streak of young Nigerians excelling on a global stage.