Oluwagbenga Olabisi Sesan born on July 27, 1977 was appointed Nigeria’s first Information Technology Youth Ambassador in October 2001. His
interest and work is built around the use of ICTs in socio-economic transformation—focusing on underserved groups. He has often expressed his strong belief in the potential that Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) hold for Nigeria and Africa.
He has been an active participant at national, regional, and international discussions on the need for Africa’s inclusion in the Information Society, and has consulted widely for numerous organisations, including Harvard University, Microsoft, Res Publica, Freedom House, International Telecommunications Union, Heinrich Boll Foundation and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) — where he was the Vice Chair of the African Technical Advisory Committee. ‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), a social enterprise that connects underserved people-groups with ICT-enabled opportunities.
Originally trained as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, ‘Gbenga completed management training at Lagos Business School, New York Group for Technology Transfer, Oxford University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Santa Clara University and University of the Pacific. His consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Freedom House, Res Publica, Heinrich Boll Foundation, the International Telecommunications Union and the British Council.
Beginning his career with Junior Achievement of Nigeria in 2001, ‘Gbenga served as Program Assistant, Program Manager, Lagos Digital Village Project Manager and Development Manager. While at JANigeria, he had the opportunity of completing the Venture in Management Program (now Venture in Management and Enterprise Program) in 2001, a course that was his first introduction to management. While training volunteer and implementing JANigeria programs, ‘Gbenga also picked up skills that continue to be useful for his career development. ‘Gbenga has consulted and made presentations focusing on Social Media, and the general use of ICTs for development, in over 30 countries.
He is a Crans Montana Forum Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, Our Common Future Fellow, Cordes Fellow and Schwab Foundation Fellow. ‘Gbenga was Nigeria’s first Information Technology Youth Ambassador and served as 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. ‘Gbenga also coordinated the development of the first mobile application used for election monitoring in Nigeria, ReVoDa. He served as a multi-role coordinator for the social media conversation and reports around the protests across Nigeria following the unpopular increase in pump price of petrol by the Nigerian government in January 2012. He was recently named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.