In one of the world’s greatest statements, William Shakespeare said, “Be not afraid of greatness.” Some people are born great, while others attain greatness, and still others have greatness thrust upon them.”
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, popularly known as CFA, is a passionate believer in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and a dedicated advocate for improving humanity through digital innovation. He has made significant contributions to technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation, across Africa and the world at large.
Birth and Education
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata was Born some four decades ago to Engineer Godfrey Agbata and Mrs. Patricia Agbata in Lagos State.
His educational journey began at Umbrella Primary School and continued to Hopebay College and Badagry College for his secondary education, all in Lagos.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Ekiti State University and a CAM diploma in digital marketing and communication from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata’s career is diverse and impactful, reflecting his multifaceted roles. He began as a customer service representative at Globacom in Lagos, Nigeria, and was an integral part of the team that championed the adoption of the first indigenous telecoms operator in Nigeria.
A combination of good and bad developments coupled with the then growing activities in the Nigerian innovation and tech space led to him launching his digital marketing and blogging career in 2009 via his personal blog.
The blog served as beginning of a journey that morphed into being a blogger, columnist, author, speaker, TV presenter, radio host, startup builder, tech policy advocate, venture capitalist, investor etc.
He spearheaded and hosted a tech program on Channels TV known as “Tech Trends”, from March 2015 up until April 2022 when he assumed the office of MD/CEO Anambra State ICT Agency.
The program played a pivotal role in cultivating an understanding of technology and its integration within Nigeria and stood as one of the fundamental platforms that gave voice to startups and the ecosystem in general on a national platform.
Appointments & Accomplishments
Prior to his appointment as MD/CEO, Anambra State ICT Agency by Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, the Governor of Anambra State, CFA co-founded Pacer Ventures, a venture fund that invests in African startups; Pacer Labs, a Software company, Techbuild.Africa, a platform chronicling innovation in Africa; Creative Space Startups (GoDo Hub), a social enterprise and innovation hub supporting women and youth development leveraging technology and Climate Action Africa, an initiative supporting the development of climate resilient communities in Africa.
From 2017-2019, he organized CFA’s Startups Hangout, a monthly program that gave startups a platform to network with one another while learning from successful entrepreneurs how to grow their various ventures and establish relevant connections.
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata continues to add value to the technology ecosystem directly and indirectly through his work with organizations such as Innovation Support Network Hubs where he serves the Director of Marketing, as treasurer of the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), and Founder Institute where he currently serves as the Regional Director for Africa.
He has received numerous awards of recognition both nationally and internationally. He was given the Award of Excellence by the Nigerian Top Executives in the IT & Software Industry in 2015, as a result of his skills, perseverance and aspiration as a business leader with a significant impact on the international business network.
Also, in 2015 & 2016, he was listed among Nigeria’s 100 most innovative persons in Technology by ynaija.com as well as the 2015 ICT Journalist of the year by Beacon of ICT Awards.
He also received the NiRA Presidential Award for Youth Development, by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) in 2016.
In 2018, he was invited by the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ingo Herbert, to be part of the jury for the first Falling Walls Lab Lagos, which is a commemoration of the falling of the Berlin Wall.
He was invited again by the German Federal Foreign Office as a Visitors Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany for Digital Influencers to get a better understanding of the German digital and technology ecosystem. A part of the activities lined up was featured on the German National Blog.
Also in 2018, he was a media panelist at the Deutsche WelleGlobal Media Forum (GMF) in Bonn, (Germany), where he discussed the role of journalistic start-ups in illiberal media systems.
Also, Slush Global Impact Accelerator, a program created in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and other multiple partners around the globe with the purpose of supporting impact startups and showcase the exciting business opportunities in emerging markets, selected CFA as one of the judges in Nigeria for the 2018 challenge.
In January 2019, CFA was announced as one of the judges for the 2018 edition of the USPF Change-Maker Challenge with the theme ‘The Future Is Here: Disrupting Legacy Ecosystem with Technology.’
In June, 2019, CFA was invited by the Swedish Institute as one of the international experts to meet founders and entrepreneurs for renowned startups and large companies with a focus on innovation. Through the expert visit, the Instituted aimed to increase the participants’ knowledge and enable new collaborations with Swedish organisations.
Later on, in October of the same year, 2019, CFA received an invitation, from the Deputy Chairman of the FDP parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, Alexander Count Lambsdorff, to speak in Berlin, on the topic “Digitization in Africa”.
In 2022, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata was nominated for Global Startup Leadership awards.
The feat achieved out of over 35+ distinguished personalities nominated globally for this award is based on their impact in the startup ecosystem and new entrepreneurs.
The Global Startup Leadership Awards aims to highlight the top startup ecosystem and accelerator leaders helping activate and empower new entrepreneurs across the globe.
Chukwuemeka has evolved as one of the champions of the African innovation ecosystem based on his numerous activities and commentaries, aimed at supporting the growth of the digital economy, entrepreneurship, startups and the ecosystem in general.
Perhaps, it is for this and many more reasons that the then Governor-elect of Anambra State invited him to join his Transition Committee back in 2022, alongside 80 other highly-respected Nigerians from all walks of life.
Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata’s as MD Anambra State ICT Agency
On January 18th 2022, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata was appointed into the Transition Committee of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, marking a significant milestone in his career and his journey into public service.
As an advocate for digital innovation in Nigeria and Africa beyond, his appointment was a recognition of his expertise and contributions to the technology ecosystem. The appointment which birthed the Anambra State Transition Committee Report was subsequently followed by a re-appointment as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State ICT Agency.
It is safe to say that Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata is prepared for the future given how fast the world is advancing in the twenty-first century. Through his deliberate foray into the digital world, CFA has carved a niche for himself in the technology ecosystem in Nigeria and beyond, and through his dedication at the Anambra State ICT Agency, is effectively driving the vision of Governor Soludo, towards building a digital tribe, a liveable and prosperous smart mega city, conscious of the new positive direction the world is headed.
The value he brings to Anambra state governance cannot be overemphasized and only time will reveal the promise his role in the the state’s digitization journey holds.
As head of the Anambra State ICT Agency, CFA continues to spearhead giant digital transformation strides in the areas of E-government, standardization of Govtech solutions and digital assets, Broadband connectivity, Cloud Infrastructure, Digital Identity (E-ID Card), all-inclusive State ICT Policy and work tools for civil servants. These and many more are the initiatives being reeled out by the ICT Agency under the leadership of Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR.
In summary, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata’s personal profile can be categorized as a passionate tech ecosystem advocate, dedicated public servant, accomplished entrepreneur, and impactful influencer driving innovation and digital transformation in Nigeria.