Koffi Annan once said, “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies.”
True to Koffi Annan’s statement, more than ever before, Africa’s youths are beginning to take the front seats in innovation, change and of course, leadership.
With the Not Too Young to Run Bill recently passed in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, politically inclined youths in the country and by extension, African may have woken to a dawn of a new history.
For a continent notoriously known for parading old power freaks as leaders, the emergence of a new, young, vibrant and forward-thinking minds in Africa’s political scene is indeed a breath of fresh air.
As Nigeria counts down to her first election after the passing of a Bill that allows citizens ages 35 and above to contest for the position of the president and 30 years and above for governorship positions, there is an unprecedented turnout of young Nigerians showing interest in the governance of their beloved country.
Chike Ukaegbu is one of many Nigeria’s young political aspirations for the 2019 elections. He is willing to change the nation’s narrative. Chike is 35 years old. He wants to be Nigeria’s president come May 2019.
Chike Ukaegbu declared his candidacy on 28th June 2018, less than a year before the country’s general elections.
Chike believes Nigeria needs a visionary leader and he is the right choice to lead the nation.
Apart from the fact that Chike Ukaegbu is a 35-year-old Nigerian who wants to be Nigeria’s youngest president come 2019, there are more interesting things about Chike Ukaegbu’s biography that every young Nigerian should know.
Chike Ukaegbus’s Childhood
He is one of six siblings who live in 5 countries on 4 continents. His parents are retired civil servants in Nigeria.
Chike Ukaegbu’s Education
Chike went to school in Nigeria from kindergarten through his second year at the University of Lagos. He left Nigeria in his second year at Unilag to the United States where he studied Biomedical Engineering at City College of New York. He studied Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell University and took MBA courses at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chike also studied Venture Capital and Investments at Stanford University.
Chike Ukaegbu’s Career
Chike Ukaegbu began teaching Math at The City College of New York at age 25. He stayed on as an educator at the College for 7 years while pursuing other endeavours that helped shape his experience.
Chike became a Colin PowellFellow on Public Policy in 2004.
His passion to find the right solutions to curb youth poverty and disconnection, educational disadvantage and opportunity divide resulted in the development of the HEROES Model for effectively engaging youths and communities in 2006.
In 2009, Chike used his HEROES model to co-found Re: LIFE Inc, a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower at-risk and disconnected youth populations through tech, entrepreneurship and education.
In 2014, Chike launched the Education and Entrepreneurship Leadership Fund in Nigeria that awarded 13 academic scholarships, as well as seed capital to students and youth entrepreneurs.
In 2015, Chike founded Startup52, NYC’s premier and award-winning diversity-focused accelerator to provide better access to capital and resourceful networks for founders from untapped communities – People of Color, women, veterans, and founders with special abilities, immigrants, seniors, and other marginalized groups.
Since its launch, Startup52 has been called America’s Most Diverse Tech Accelerator, recognized by NYC’s Mayor De Blasio, named one of America’s Best Entrepreneurial Businesses by Entrepreneur Magazine, a Top 20 Business Accelerator by Small Business Trends, among other accolades.
Chike Ukaegbu’s Passion
Chike is an Educator, Entrepreneur, Investor, Humanitarian, Biomedical Engineer.
He is passionate about empowering untapped communities and increasing representation through diversity and inclusion in tech, corporate, educational and entrepreneurial spaces.
As a leading voice on several topics relating to millennials and untapped communities (empowerment, engagement, diversity, inclusion, and more), Chike continues to develop and implement effective frameworks, models and novel methodologies relevant to effectively building, inspiring and engaging audiences and communities.
Chike’s Political Ideologies
Chike believes that since 60% of Nigeria’s population is youth, it makes sense that the country should be governed by youth. As a tech entrepreneur, Chike is running on the pillars of tech, education and entrepreneurship.
In a recent interview on CNN, Chike summarizes his political ideology.
“For every powerful nation since industrialization, the pillars of sustenance, competitiveness and wealth have been technology, education and entrepreneurship. Education, because it prepares the people to identify, understand, tackle and address their problems. Technology, because it drives innovation and revolutionary advancements that solve these problems. Entrepreneurship, because it creates communal wealth from identified solutions to problems. These three pillars are interdependent and serve as the foundation upon which all other elements of greatness are built upon. In all three, Nigeria lags behind, as it stands at an unfamiliar crossroad of two dissimilar paths. If the country is to be salvaged, then we all need to arise and elect Nigerians who have the vision, strategy and compassion needed to serve and lead the people”.
Chike’s “Me Time”
Chike loves travelling. He has been to many countries in the world. He is a lover of diverse people and cultures.
Chike draws inspiration from the beauty in the things that both bind people together as well as those that make us unique.
He is an ardent believer in the social and economic benefits of inclusive diversity and continues to advocate for its adoption.
Chike Ukaegbu On Social media
Chike is actively on Instagram as @chikeukaegbu
On twitter catch him on @chikeUkaegbu
If you are on LinkedIn, you could catch him up on LinkedIn @Chikeukaegbu
And for Facebook lovers, he is Chii Que’ – Chike Ukaegbu on Facebook.
As the election approaches, we can only wish Chike and other young aspirants of the 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria the very best of votes.