Who Is Smart?
Nonso Okafor popularly known as ‘SMART‘, is a visionary young man with a contagious passion for positive change.
This has made him pioneer a number of change initiatives geared toward building a better society.
His visible impact in the areas of youth and women empowerment, leadership, good governance and humanitarian service has earned him several awards. He is one of the youngest recipients of the prestigious Henry Dunant Gold Medal of Red Cross and Red Crescent; and an awardee of the coveted Nigerian Youth Leadership Award of LEAP Africa, funded by Ford Foundation & International Youth foundation, USA. He is a strong advocate of social reform toward the protection of the aged, the vulnerable and under-privileged.
He was a delegate and strong voice in the Next Generation Nigeria, an Independent Task Force for the future of Nigeria powered by British Council in 2010. He was also one of the 14-man delegates to the Youth Leaders Strategy Session convened by the Presidency in January 2011 to Chat an agenda for youth engagement in government over the next four years. He has also been a delegate and speaker to several conferences and summits. He was a Speaker at the 2014 Young African Society Conference at World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC.
It was Smart that moved the brave motion preventing youths from 50 African countries from adopting Gay Right as the major issue facing Africa during their YALI program in the US. This earned him a strong commendation of President Barrack Obama, and First Lady of the United States. It also earned him Nigerian Youth Ambassador accolade from President Goodluck Jonathan at a Reception at Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC.
He was also member of the Technical Committee that designed the National Presidential Initiative on Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) as part of the Transformation Agenda of former President Goodluck Jonathan. He was the Anambra State Coordinator of Nigeria Election Vigilante Organisation set up in the build up of the 2011 General Election to push for credible elections.
He is an alumnus of the Discovering Young Leaders Programme of the Commonwealth regional office in Lusaka, Zambia. He is also an alumnus of FATE Foundation’s SRD which he underwent on Harambe scholarship; and also an alumnus of LEAP’s Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) and Integrity Institute. He was among the youth volunteers that implemented LEAP Africa’s Leadership, Ethics and Civics programme in Anambra State 2010.
Nonso was born and bred in Nnewi. He had his Ota akara education at Obi Oforkile Odida Nnewichi later to Odida Central School for his primary and then Nnewi High School for his secondary school. His first stint on higher education was at Federal Polytechnic Oko where he displayed exceptional leadership skills and left indelible legacies as the Students’ Union President 2006/2007. He was a delegate to the 2007 Youth Stakeholders Forum on the reformation of Nigeria’s education system convened by the then Education Minister, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili.
He is member of Amnesty International and the Coalition for Youth Capacity of Youngstars Foundation int’l. The litany is unending but suffice it to say that Nonso is a new breed of generation strategically prepared and positioned to be an active driver of positive change in his generation.
· Member, Austin Black Chamber, Austin Texas, USA
· Member, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni (YALI Fellow)
· Member, LEAP Africa Youth Leadership Programme Alumni
· Member, Commonwealth DYLP Alumni
· Member, LEAP Africa Integrity Institute Alumni
· Member, University of Texas IVP Alumni
· Member, Harambe Nigeria Alumni
· Member, Alamo City Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio, USA
· President, Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), St. Flavius Catholic Church, Oworonshoki, Lagos-2013/14
· President, National Association of Catholic Corpers (NACC), AkwaIbom State -2009 (Batch B)
· President, Students’ Union Government (SUG), Federal Polytechnic Oko
· Program/Social Secretary, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Anambra State -2013
· National President, Nnewi Academics Congress (NAC)-2007/08
· President, Progressive Anambra Youths (PAY)
· Founder, Newbreed Youth Organisation
· Chairman, South-East SUG Presidents Forum 2006/07
· President, Special Duties, St. Augustine’s Catholic Chaplaincy, Federal Polytechnic Oko.
· Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nnewi Academic Congress -2013 to date
. State Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Anambra State
AWARDS / RECOGNITIONS
· 10 Most Outstanding Nigerian Youth Award (2010) by LEAP Africa and International Youth Foundation, USA
· Henry Dunant Gold Medal/Merit Award by Nigerian Red Cross Society and Red Crescent.
· Best SUG President Award by Students Union Government Federal Polytechnic and St. Augustine’s Catholic Chaplaincy, Federal Polytechnic, Oko
· Green Champion Award as a Climate Change Advocate by United States Government.
Discovering Young Leaders Programme (DYLP) of the Commonwealth Regional Office, Lusaka Zambia.
· Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) of LEAP Africa funded by Ford Foundation
· Samsung Real Dream (SRD) Programme of the FATE Foundation, Lagos
· Microsoft Employability Training of LEAP funded by Microsoft, Uyo AkwaIbom State
· INTEGRITY Institute of LEAP Africa, Lekki Lagos.
· Mentorship Programme with Microsoft 4Afrika funded by U. S. African
Development Foundation (USADF).
· Leadership, Ethics and Civics Programme Volunteers Training of LEAP Africa.
· Paid Internship with Microsoft 4Afrika powered IREX and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
· Executive Coaching funded by Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Econet.
Presently, he is the member representing Nnewi North Constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly where he is making positive waves. He is the Chairman, House Committee on Social Development, Gender and Children Affairs; Deputy Chairman, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and also Deputy Chairman, Finance & Appropriation.
He is married to Mrs Uju Okafor is currently blessed with a child.