Aba born, Uzoma Nwagba, an Eisenhower Fellow and Chief Operating Officer of Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) Growth Platform, recently delivered a powerful keynote speech at the 70th anniversary of the prestigious Global Eisenhower Fellowship.
Nwagba, who was the only Nigerian to get into the 2023 Eisenhower Fellowship Program, began his speech by emphasizing the significance of family in Igbo culture. He reminisced that growing up in Aba, his extended family went beyond immediate relatives, encompassing a wider network of relatives, in-laws, and close friends. He said the extended family structure ingrained in him a sense of community and the strong family values that have shaped his perspective on collective responsibility towards each other and the commonwealth.
In his speech, Nwagba emphasized that, “Nations must take full responsibility for their development; but we are a Commonwealth and do have a collective responsibility to each other – otherwise we would all be victims of a world that is not peaceful, prosperous, and just. Technology is here to revolutionize the world, and Nigeria must increase its participation in the global ecosystem, by creating shared prosperity and lifting more people out of poverty.”
Nwagba, who holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, oversees the daily operations and management of the BOI Growth Platform, leading a team of 22,000 staff and field-based loan officers.
As part of his project, Nwagba aims to launch “Nigeria Valley,” an upskilling program that will train a new generation of software engineers, product designers, Web 3.0 developers, and blockchain professionals.
Through this program, he envisions thousands of Nigerians securing remote jobs in the global tech industry, contributing to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
Nwagba’s impressive career journey began as a software engineer at Microsoft, USA, where he designed mobile software for emerging markets.
Following his advanced business degree, he brought his expertise back to Nigeria and joined ACA private equity, where he was one of 11 professionals managing a $600 million fund.
Seeking broader impact, Nwagba transitioned to Nigeria’s public service and played a pivotal role in designing and executing technology-driven interventions for micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises.
Notable examples include the World Bank’s NG-CARES and the Federal Government’s GEEP initiatives, all facilitated through Nigeria’s Bank of Industry.
Nwagba’s selection as a Global Eisenhower Fellow is a testament to the remarkable achievements of Nigerians on the global stage