Osita Oparaugo: The African Spirit

Osita Oparaugo
Osita Oparaugo

If patriotism were a human being, Nigeria-born UK-trained lawyer and serial entrepreneur, Osita Oparaugo, would be its embodiment. Here is a man whose love for the continent of Africa knows no bounds, and every business that he has set up in the past two decades has had Africa at its core. No wonder the former President of Sierra Leone, HE Ernest Bai Koroma called him “The African Spirit”. Oparaugo, is a true pan-African who believes in and envisions a better Africa.

When, between 2015 and 2019, Oparaugo offered remarkable consultancy services to several African countries – from Nigeria to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, and so on – through Footprint to Africa, an investment bridge company he founded, the focus was to promote investment opportunities in Africa to Africans and foreign investors. At the same time, he preached to the governments of Africa the need to develop and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as a base for economic growth.

After the eradication of Ebola in Sierra Leone, he took a team of experts to the country where they produced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) drive papers and a documentary titled “I Have Seen Sierra Leone” – at no cost to the government. These became instruments for the Sierra Leonean government to attract back investors to the country in its bid to rebuild the nation after the Ebola crisis. The then President of Sierra Leone, at a forum in the United Kingdom, called him “The African Spirit” for his support to the country, a nickname he carries till this day. 

In 2019, propelled by the urge to see Africans tell their own stories by themselves, Oparaugo launched Ogelle, Africa’s first user-generated content (UGC) platform, giving Africans in Africa and Africans in the diaspora the opportunity to create and share documentaries and entertainment videos in their languages, traditions, and culture.

But when you thought that you had seen it all, bang! Oparaugo launches GetBundi, a government-approved education technology platform on a mission to upskill 10 million Africans in 10 years, as encapsulated in “The GetBundi VISION 2033”.

GetBundi Education Technology, launched in 2022, is designed to deliver high quality, engaging, and accessible Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects for post-primary schools as well as vocational digital skills learning for young adults across Africa. The edtech platform is targeting to build a new Africa based on technology. With over 1,008 hours of STEM education covering six years of secondary school work using the West African School Certificate curriculum and over 2,000 hours of digital skills audiovisual content, GetBundi is on course to equip the large percentage of unskilled African youths with relevant digital skills needed for gainful unemployment in the 21st-Century digital economy.

To make its offerings more accessible and drive deeper penetration, GetBundi, months after it was launched, incorporated West African street English “Pidgin English” as a major language of instruction for some of its Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) skills. Speaking on that innovative idea, Oparaugo said the decision was reached after he had read the conclusion of studies by the World Bank, UNESCO, and others that using a language of instruction closest to the people matters a lot, especially for learning foundational skills.

Just recently, GetBundi Education Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of GetBundi Education Technology, kicked off the first edition of its free coding training for 500 African women. Tagged “TechSis 2023”, the initiative aims to support 500 African women aged 18 and above to learn coding, a top-demand skill, to make them well-positioned to take up well-paying jobs, thereby creating a source of income for themselves.

At a virtual event to kick off the free training that is designed to last 1 June-31 August 2023, Professor Florence Emenalo, Amanda Kazzy Cryer, GetBundi Chief Global Ambassador and Olatomiwa Williams, Microsoft Country Manager for Nigeria and Ghana, emphasized the importance of having more female talent join tech and the positive impact that would have not just on the women but also on their families, communities, and Africa at large.

Indeed, Oparaugo is on a tedious journey to remake Africa, but it is an absolutely necessary journey, and he has consistently shown that he is ready and willing to go the whole hog. He is propelled by a resolute belief that by producing highly skilled graduates and upskilling its young people with relevant digital skills, Africa can leverage its growing young population to improve the region’s economic development.

Born to Chief Sir Obed and Dame Margaret Oparaugo, Osita received his Bachelor of Law degree from The University of Buckingham, United Kingdom, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2014. He holds several international certifications from notable institutions around the globe, including Harvard Business School and New York Film Academy, and sits on the board of five companies, including Wings of Justice Foundation, and served as Programme Committee Chairman, Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce. He is actively involved in various charitable causes around the African continent, strongly advocating direly needed reforms.

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