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Gbenga Sesan

‘Gbenga Sesan is the Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative. Originally trained as an Electronic and Electrical Engineer at Obafemi Awolowo University, 'Gbenga completed 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. His consulting experience includes assignments completed for numerous institutions, including Microsoft, Harvard University and United Nations agencies, among others, in over 30 countries. A Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2014) and former member of the United Nations Committee of eLeaders on Youth and ICT, he is a fellow of numerous institutions, such as Ashoka. 'Gbenga was listed by CNN as one of the Top 10 African Tech Voices on Twitter and by Ventures Africa as one of 40 African Legends Under 40.

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Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
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Non-profit Social Enterprise
Justice and Law; Future of Work; Social Innovation
Areas of Impact
Africa, Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria

Paradigm Initiative Nigeria

Paradigm Initiative is a social enterprise that builds an ICT-enabled support system and advocates digital rights in order to improve livelihoods for underserved youths. Its programmes include digital inclusion programmes – such as its L.I.F.E. Skills programmes on ICT, financial readiness and entrepreneurship – and its Techtiary programme and a digital rights programme.

It is active across offices in Nigeria (Aba, Abuja, Ajegunle, Kano, Yaba) and beyond. Its vision is improved livelihoods for underserved youths aged 12 to 28. At the beginning of 2017, Paradigm Initiative's expansion plan led it to team up with new partners and expand its existing coalition, extending its digital rights work into the rest of Anglophone West Africa, East/Southern Africa and Francophone Africa. It also deepened its digital inclusion reach within Nigeria, with the introduction of resident programmes in secondary schools and tertiary institutions across the country. It also expanded its L.I.F.E. training programme beyond the Aba, Ajegunle and Kano centres and took the programme into five secondary schools in Abia, Lagos and Kano state. The LIFE@School programme graduates can now join their colleagues who benefit from the 10-week digital readiness programme to start entrepreneurial activities or get internships/jobs early based on new skills acquired.

Its Techtiary programme also added five tertiary institutions while students from 27 tertiary institutions from five of Nigeria's six zones attended the 2017 Techtiary Forum. It launched its bilingual (English and French) Digital Rights in Africa report at the 2017 Internet Governance Forum in Geneva. In 2017, the House of Representatives passed Digital Rights and Freedom Bill and the Senate passed it in early 2018. Its annual Internet Freedom Forum, which was held in April 2017, was attended by stakeholders from 33 countries.


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