Olugbenga Adesida, PhD

Olugbenga Adesida, PhD

President & Co-Founder

Adesida is co-founder of Bonako, one of the first gaming companies in Africa developing digital games and mobile applications, established in 2013 in Cabo Verde. He is also a co-founder of Muska, a music industry tech company. He established and co-directs the Africa Innovation Summit, a platform for promoting innovation in Africa since 2012.  Adesida serves on the boards of the Africa Leadership Institute, Pedro Pires Leadership Institute, and José Maria Neves Foundation for Governance. He also serves on the Advisory Council of the Grand Challenges Canada. 

He worked extensively as a strategy consultant in many countries and very closely with the government of Cabo Verde, advising the prime minister, the minister of economy, the minister of foreign affairs and the minister of finance, helping the government to undertake strategic programs including institutional reforms, between 2001 and 2016.  Earlier in his career, he worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) between 1992 and 1998, where he  undertook high-level advisory work and assisted African countries to undertake perspective studies and scenarios planning. He led the studies such as Cabo Verde: The Road Ahead, and co-designed and co-facilitated the South Africa 2020 Scenarios and the Nigeria 2025 Scenarios exercises. He was recently the technical lead for the Imagine Nigeria foresight exercise. He also participated in global projects such as the Foundation for the Future’s Humanity 3000 program, World Water Commission’s World Water Scenarios, and the Millennium Project’s State of the Future Reports. Additionally, he has authored papers on development management, futures studies, and technology policy. He co-edited a book (African Voices, African Visions), and served as editor or co-editor for special editions of African Development Review (Knowledge and Africa’s Development), Futures (Futures studies and the future of Africa), Foresight (Is Africa the land of the future?), and African Journal of Science, Technology and Development (Building innovation driven economies in Africa & Can innovation address Africa’s challenges?). He co-edited Innovation Africa: Emerging Hubs of Excellence (2016) and Innovation Ecosystems in Africa: Solving the problems that we have (2023). He is an associate editor of the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development.

Adesida obtained his BA and MA in Economics from The City College of New York and PhD from the London School of Economics (UK) for research on the role of intermediary institutions in the diffusion of complex technological innovations. He is particularly interested in the interplay of foresight, institutions, innovation and national competitiveness.