There’s a certain allure that accompanies being one of the best graduating students in any educational institution for that matter, not to mention one as prestigious as the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Boston, U.S.A.
Finishing at the top end of your class from such an institution, to a reasonable extent, would imply that you get to wear the “Hot Prospect” label and enjoy the rare privilege of having your pick of six-figure job offers from top firms who would be tripping over themselves to have you put pen to paper. And that’s just for starters.
Well, that was pretty much the case for Nigerian techie, Obinna Ukwuani, who may have left everyone in shock when he opted to toe an entirely different line.
By turning his back on the lure of a fat paycheck that could well build a comfortable life to pursue a deep-seated passion that could have just as easily proved a fiasco in the end, he exhibited quite the courage.
Obinna Ukwuani is on a path to building Africa’s first STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) campus in Nigeria – a project that was borne out of the need to level the playing field and bridge the learning gap between young African students and their counterparts in the developed world.
When the new season of Major League Soccer kicks off at the weekend, all but three of the 24 teams in the north American league will have representation from Africa.
A total of 44 players are drawn from 19 different countries and do not include the players of African heritage who have gone on to play for either Canada or the United States at national team or junior level.
It is a significant representation for the continent whose numbers have been bolstered by several high profile signings.
The tension between the two economic giants in the world, China and the United States (US), might have a silver lining for Africa. The administration of President Donald Trump is set to increase investment into the continent, in a bid to counter the narrative that China’s influence in Africa is rising, while the US falls off with its “America first” approach.
President Trump signed the legislation, the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act, or the BUILD Act, into law in October 2018. It combines the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and other US agencies focusing on international economic development into a newly consolidated agency called the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
It is anticipated that the DFC will be operational in October 2019 and at that time the DFC will begin deploying US equity capital in African private equity.
The DFC expands OPIC’s budget from USD29 billion to USD60 billion and provides the DFC with the authority to make limited equity investments. Previously, OPIC was limited to debt investments.