Nigeria’s Simi Nwogugu, Chief Executive of JA Africa, has been among the top 10 finalist for the prestigious Africa Education Medal 2023, which acknowledges extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy, and impact in the education sector across Africa.
Also among the top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal, one of who would grab the top spot when it is announced following a in-depth evaluation by a distinguished panel in July, are accomplished individuals from Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya.
Nwogugu’s journey with JA Africa, an affiliate of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated JA Worldwide, began in New York City during her tenure at Goldman Sachs. Inspired by JA’s mission, she left her high-profile job at the age of 24 to introduce JA to Nigeria. Her passion for transforming education has enabled JA Africa to reach more than 100,000 youths annually, significantly impacting education throughout the continent.
Commenting on her nomination, Nwogugu expressed deep humility at being recognized as a finalist for the Africa Education Medal 2023 for her work at JA Africa which “aims to ignite the spark of possibility in young people, equip them with essential skills, and empower them to make a difference in their communities. This recognition reaffirms the importance of our mission.”
Before stepping into her current role as CEO at JA Africa in 2020, Nwogugu was instrumental in impacting the lives of over a million Nigerians across 5,000 schools during her leadership at JA Nigeria.
Her notable contributions include the launch of the Leadership, Empowerment, Achievement & Development (LEAD) Camp for Girls and the Venture in Management Programme (ViMP), both aimed at equipping young people with vital life and business skills.
Apart from her responsibilities at JA Africa, Nwogugu also serves as the President of the governing board of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association of Nigeria (HBSAN), earning numerous accolades for her social impact work. She is currently engaged with the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative for West Africa (ALIWA), further expanding her influence and passion for empowering youth.