Tom Ilube has just been named the UK’s most influential black person in the UK. The decade-old annual Powerlist 2017 selects 100 of the most powerful people of African and African Caribbean heritage in the country.
But who is Tom Ilube?… you may ask. He’s the founder of the African Science Academy (ASA), Africa’s first girls only science and technology school, based in Ghana. Yes, he’s trying to get more women to do science and tech, which can only be a good thing!
The 24 young female scientists are from across the continent: Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Uganda. It is a fee-paying school but there are scholarships for students with financial needs and the school can cover up to 100 per cent of fees if necessary. ASA aims to admit over 200 students a year from across the continent.
The British-Nigerian entrepreneur is involved in lots of other ventures; from a cyber-security firm to a startup that checks your credit card ratings. Developing Africa’s education system seems to be his priority at the moment: ‘Launching the African Science Academy is the highlight of all my work in education over the past decade,’ Ilube told press.
‘I am convinced that we have brilliant young women in African who have the potential to be tomorrow’s world class scientists and engineers.’
An entry on his blog announcing the news showed his humble and humorous side. ‘I was planning to start winding down over the next few years, but it looks like I am going to have to step up a gear or two and do something really worthy of being honoured in this way.’ The successful entrepreneur continued to say that despite being a ‘socially awkward, introvert fellow’, he would ‘rise to the challenge.’ And to do this, he would have to be his alter ego…
‘I will even dance for you. I will talk of life and laugh. I will be my alter ego – Mr Bojangles…’
Find out more about the African Science Academy