ChangeNOW 2021


Emmanuel Agunze

The Makoko Dream Foundation



Emmanuel Agunze is the Founder of The Makoko Dream, an initiative which provides children of the largest floating slum community, Makoko in yaba, Lagos,Nigeria, with access to education and life skills in order to address the issue of child labor. His organization, The Makoko Dream (TMD) has reached out to over 8000 Makoko indigenes via various intervention programs. The Makoko Dream School, which caters for out-of-school children in the slum community in Makoko, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria has enrolled over 800 children in Makoko via her tuition-free Nursery and Primary Schools in Makoko as run by The Makoko Dream Team. He created a “water school bus” - a custom-made canoe that transports children of the Makoko waterside to and from school, free of charge and was recognised as 2017 Nelson Mandela Graca-Machel Innovation Awards Youth Activist Finalist for his role in creating change in his local community. He is a 2018 Barrack Obama Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders (YALI) and a 2018 Ashoka Changemaker Fellow (CXC GHANA). He is an Alum of Civic Leadership from Indiana University, Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana, USA, and a product of the Kelley School of Business, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; he is also a Lily Family School of Philanthropy 2018 Certified Fund Raiser and Negotiator, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. In July, 2019, Mr. Agunze became a certified graduate of the Non-Profit Leadership Management Program from the prestigious Lagos Business School, Ajah-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. He is Currently an Executive Member of The United States Government Exchange Alumni Association (USGEAA) Lagos, Nigeria, that is comprised of over 20 Alumni Associations of the US Government such as the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, Full Bright Scholars, International Visitors Leadership Program, IVLP, and The Mandela Washington Fellowship, amongst others. Here, he serves as the Secretary of Finance, where he advises the Association on Funding Strategies. Most recently, his organization in partnership with Code for Africa, Pulitzer Center, Uhuru Labs, African Drone Org, Humanitarian Open Street Maps(HOSM), Guardian Nigeria did a Mapping Project, #MapMakoko, where Makoko Dream Girls were trained on using drones to map their community. He is a recipient of several Awards including The African Men of the Year 2020 by Donors for Africa Group. The 100 Yong Influencers in Nigeria by Opportunities World Sigma Awards for the Impact project #MapMakoko that seeks to put Makoko on the Global Map.

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