Occupation: Information and Communication Technology for Development
Occupational Position: Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), a social enterprise that connects underserved youth with ICT-enabled opportunities. Originally trained as an Electronic and Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, his consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Freedom House, Res Publica, Computer Aid International, Heinrich Boll Foundation, the International Telecommunications Union and British Council, among others.
‘Gbenga’s consulting and public speaking experience spans over 30 countries. A pioneer member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT, he is a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow, Cordes Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow and Schwab Foundation Fellow.
‘Gbenga was Nigeria's Information Technology Youth Ambassador from 2001 to 2003 and served as the Vice Chair of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s African Technical Advisory Committee. In 2006, he was appointed as a member of the Nigerian Presidential Task Force on the Restructuring of the Nigerian Information Technology and Telecommunications Sectors. He was appointed a member of the Presidential Committee on Roadmap for the Achievement of Accelerated Universal Broadband Infrastructure and Services Provision in August 2012.
Imprimata published his book, In My Own Words, an annotated autobiographical collection of essays, in September 2009. In 2013, IT News Africa listed ‘Gbenga as one of Africa’s Top 20 Tech Influencers. In 2012, he was listed by CNN as one of the 10 African Tech Voices To Follow on Twitter, and by Ventures Africa as one of 40 African Legends Under 40. Quartz recently listed ‘Gbenga on its 2016 Quartz Africa Innovators list. In October 2015, ‘Gbenga was profiled by AlJazeera in the My Nigeria documentary.
He has been honoured with the 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award, 2013 University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs’ CyberStewards Fellowship, 2012 Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity (GNAP) Fellowship, 2011 Cordes Fellowship, 2010 Santa Clara University GSBI Fellowship, 2010 Crans Montana Forum of New Leaders for Tomorrow Fellowship award, 2010 Our Common Future Fellowship award, 2009 OAU Distinguished Alumni award, 2009 National Youth Merit award, 2008 OAU Ife EEESS Distinguished Alumni award, 2008 FGC Idoani Alumni award, 2007 Nigerian Youth Leadership award, 2007 The Future Youth Advocacy award, 2006 International Telecommunications Union YES Scholarship award, 2006 Ondo State Sunshine award, 2006 The Future Best Use of Technology award, 2005 Stockholm Challenge Champion honour, 2004 NiPRO Excellence in Information Technology award, 2003 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in Nigeria award, 2002 JCI Ten Outstanding Great Ife Alumni (TOGA) award, 2002 Journalists’ Frontier of Technology in Nigeria award, and the 2001 International Telecommunications Union’s African Youth Fellowship award.
BSc (Electronic & Electrical Engineering) Obafemi Awolowo University, Executive Education programs at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific.
2007 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow