Schwab Foundation names Gbenga Sesan of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014’
Gbenga Sesan, ex-Nigeria’s IT Youth Ambassador and current Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), a platform seeking to empower Nigerian youth using technology, has earned another prestigious international stripe from the Schwab Foundation: Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014.
Winners were selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact, according to organisers of the event.
The Schwab Foundation, which collaborates The Huffington Post on the recognition announced ‘Gbenga Sesan one of the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014 at a livecast session on 24 March at 13:00 EST/18:00 CE, according to a statement by PIN
With three awardees from Kenya, and one each from Ghana, Tanzania and Malawi, ‘Gbenga Sesan is the only awardee from Nigeria of the seven awardees from Africa. The remaining 30 awardees for 2014 are spread across five continents.
Paradigm Initiative Nigeria was founded as a social enterprise that connects underserved Nigerian Youth with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) opportunities; with specific concern about the ill-effects of unemployment and cybercrime among other vices that limit the potential contribution of young Nigerians to the nation’s economy.
According to the Schwab Foundation website; “The Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Awardees are leading 30 organizations operating in more than 20 countries that are pioneering solutions for social and environmental challenges including urban revitalization, renewable energy, unemployment, and more.”
‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, is a member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT and served as a member of the Presidential Committee on Roadmap for the Achievement of Accelerated Universal Broadband Infrastructure and Services Provision.[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria”]“This is both a pat on the back for the work that the PIN team; 12 people working in Abuja and Lagos Nigeria continues to do, and a call to do more. None of these milestones would have been possible without the support of our board or the commitment of our partners. This goes to appreciate them really”, Sesan adds. [/blockquote]
He is an Ashoka Fellow, Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow and University of Toronto/Citizen Lab CyberSteward. He was listed in 2012 by CNN as one of the 10 Leading African Tech Voices and by Ventures Africa as one of 40 African Legends Under 40.
Commenting on the recognition, ‘Gbenga says he views the award more about the outcome of efforts by the team that drives the work.
“This is both a pat on the back for the work that the PIN team; 12 people working in Abuja and Lagos Nigeria continues to do, and a call to do more. None of these milestones would have been possible without the support of our board or the commitment of our partners. This goes to appreciate them really”, Sesan adds.
Also commenting, Temitope Ogundipe; Chief Operating Officer, PIN is no less excited. “Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is the only Nigerian organization on the 2014 list of awardees, but even beyond that, we are excited about the new opportunities we have access to through the recognition and honour”, she says.
The awardees will become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of Social Entrepreneurs, which includes 250 outstanding social entrepreneurs from 60 countries. Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs are fully integrated into the events and initiatives of the World Economic Forum.