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Lufthansa Airlines Global to Build Chess Academy in Partnership with Chess in Slums Africa

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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The famous Nigerian chess master, coach, and visionary behind “Chess in Slums,” Tunde Onakoya, joyfully reveals a promising collaboration. The organization has officially signed a three-year grant agreement with the esteemed global airline, Lufthansa.

With enthusiasm, Onakoya shares that this strategic partnership aims to pave the way for a new chess academy and STEM innovation lab in Lagos, Nigeria. This groundbreaking initiative is set to provide a welcoming and free haven for street children who currently lack access to education.

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the aim of this partnership and the ways this chess academy will benefit the slums in Africa.

The Deal With Lufthansa

Two years ago, Onakoya shared his vision on Twitter—to establish the world’s largest chess academy. Today, that dream is a reality.

In an Instagram post, he joyfully announced, “Exciting news! @chessinslums has just secured a three-year grant with @lufthansa airlines Global Help Alliance. Together, we’re building a chess academy and STEM innovation lab in Lagos, Nigeria.

This unique platform will be a haven for street children devoid of educational access.  It offers a safe learning environment, which will also help equip children from low-income families with essential skills for their future careers.

 Lufthansa Airlines Global recognizes the significance of social responsibility and views this initiative as an investment in Africa’s future. Christina Foerster, the CEO, expressed, “We believe in the power of education for progress. Our partnership with Chess in Slums Africa allows us to support youth in developing skills, building confidence, and fostering cultural exchange.”

The chess academy will open later this year and aim to welcome students from diverse backgrounds. Beyond chess instruction, it will provide academic support, mentorship programs, and access to technology. This will foster a holistic approach to empower students in every facet of life.

Also read: How AI Has a Big Role in African Union Agenda 2063

What is the Inspiration Behind Chess In Slums?

Onakoya, in various interviews over the years, has shared that his ability to connect with children comes from a shared background of facing hardships. Growing up in the slums, he was faced with the daily struggles of acquiring food, ensuring survival, and preserving dignity. He had experienced the government’s indifference and hostility towards the less fortunate and  he empathises with the challenges faced by these children.

The eyes of his peers, their parents, or fellow slum residents, including those of children, were on him. To many, he became an inspiring figure, showing how to triumph over adversity. Tunde, after refining his chess skills and critical thinking, recognized the potential to utilise these abilities to uplift underprivileged children. In 2018, he founded Chess in Slums Africa. His goal was to boost the confidence of kids in need, through the game of chess.

His vision extends to creating a campus where bright students will reach their full potential, with the goal of contributing transformative ideas to society in the future. Tunde embodies the spirit of an Afropolitan leader, addressing challenges directly and leveraging chess to provide underprivileged kids a stepping stone towards a better life. 

Chess in Slums Africa, through partnerships with organisations, businesses, and governments, has made significant strides, securing lifelong scholarships for over 200 children in just a few years.


What is the Lufthansa Airlines Global Chess Academy?

The Lufthansa Airlines Global Chess Academy is a collaborative initiative between Lufthansa Airlines and Chess in Slums Africa to establish a chess academy aimed at promoting education and skill development through chess.

What is the goal of this partnership?

The partnership aims to create opportunities for learning and personal development, particularly in underprivileged communities, by leveraging the educational benefits of chess.

Where will the Chess Academy be located?

The Chess Academy will be established in collaboration with Chess in Slums Africa, targeting communities with limited resources to make chess education accessible.

How will Lufthansa Airlines be involved in the Chess Academy?

Lufthansa Airlines will play a key role by providing financial support, resources, and expertise to ensure the successful establishment and operation of the Chess Academy.

How will the Chess Academy benefit the community?

The Chess Academy aims to provide educational opportunities, enhance cognitive skills, and foster critical thinking and strategic planning abilities among community members, particularly children and youth.


The collaboration between Lufthansa Airlines Global and Chess in Slums Africa to establish a Chess Academy marks a remarkable and socially impactful initiative. This partnership not only underscores the commitment of Lufthansa towards global community development but also emphasizes the power of chess as a tool for empowerment and education. By bringing the strategic game of chess to underserved communities, this project aims to foster critical thinking skills, resilience, and a sense of community among the youth in Africa.



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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 148

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