JA Africa CEO, Simi Nwogugu
JA Africa CEO, Simi Nwogugu

Nigeria’s Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa, has been announced as a top 10 finalist for the prestigious Africa Education Medal 2023.

Established by T4 Education and HP in partnership with Microsoft, the Africa Educational Medal, acknowledges extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy, and impact in the education sector across Africa.

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. Speaking on her nomination, Nwogugu said, “I am deeply humbled to be recognized as a finalist for the Africa Education Medal 2023. Our work at JA Africa 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.

JA Africa CEO, Simi Nwogugu

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.

The list of top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal includes accomplished individuals from Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya.The winner of the Africa Education Medal is slated to be announced in July, following an in-depth evaluation by a distinguished panel. The recognition of educators like Nwogugu through this prestigious award underscores the invaluable role of transformative leadership in shaping the future of education in Africa.


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