Njideka Harry Biography
Social entrepreneurship is often seen as unimportant because it appears as an illogical way of attaining success. Njideka Harry, however, reminds people that investing in the social aspects of life is just as important as investing in financial areas. She is a social entrepreneur and the CEO of Youth for Technology which focuses on helping young people and women in developing countries to access information and digital skills. Over, the last two decades, Mrs. Harry has invested a lot in educating young people and women in Africa.
Njideka Harry Age, Husband and Family
The 48-year-old was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian Man and a mother who lived in Michigan and owned a restaurant in Ibadan, Nigeria. Njideka comes from a fairly wealthy family as her father was a professor and her mother an entrepreneur. Now, in her adulthood, she had replicated what she sees at home. Njideka is a wife to Mr. Harry and together they are blessed with three daughters.
Njideka Harry Education and Career
Growing up, she valued education with the same magnitude as her parents. In 1993, she moved to the United States to pursue a degree in Business Administration at the University of Massachusetts. She later joined the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University for a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
After graduation, she started working for General Electric and later at Microsoft Corporation in Corporate Finance. While at Microsoft she learned the power of information and technology in the decisions made in the company and how the same could impact communities in Africa. She challenged the senior leaders in the organization to move into Lagos with a corporate social responsibility mentality first before using a financial approach. Her endeavor bore fruit and birthed the idea of leading social change in Africa.
She resigned from her job to start the Youth for Technology a non-profit organization to reach young people and women in the developing nations particularly those in the rural areas. The focus of her NGO is to equip her target audience with information and skills to open their minds to opportunities existing in their areas and the resources available to leverage these opportunities.
Her organization introduces information and technology to people living in rural areas, and teaches them to identify social issues in their areas and then how to report the issues, and how technology can be used to resolve these issues. It teaches people basics like internet searching, using social media, and how to share information with other people. Her NGO also pays close attention to women by educating them and initiating programs that support the needs of women.
Njideka Harry also founded Owerri Digital Village, a digital learning center where young people from marginalized areas can access need-based information, vocational skills, and books focused on education, entrepreneurship, and technology. She has partnered with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Universities in Nigeria, the Japanese Trust Fund, and UNIFEM to assist in training and providing resources.
Njideka Harry Success and Recognition
Over the two decades, YTF has been in operation, more than 1 million people across Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, and Uganda have had access to information and resources that cut across leadership, governance, sustainability, peacebuilding, and civic responsibility.
The success of YTH has earned Mrs. Harry’s influence over matters concerning developing nations, especially in Africa. She has been made an Ashoka Fellow, Schwab Foundation Fellow, and Reuters Digital Vision Fellow. Her work has been recognized by major organizations like the World Economic Forum, African Union, and the United Nations.
She has also had speaking opportunities at GIBS Business School, CGTN America, Hub Culture, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and The World Innovation Network. Although her work does not involve money, it requires money to run the operation. Njideka started it as a passion to help young people and women but it has now transformed into a continental initiative that runs on millions offered by international volunteers. Njideka Harry joins other women like Alina Polyakova in influencing the world in a positive way.
Nationality: African American
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Founder of YTF
Net Worth: $10 million
Height: 5 feet and 7 inches