Joseph O. Okpaku, Sr.

Dr. Joseph O. Okpaku, Sr. is the President and CEO of the Telecom Africa International Corporation. Globally renowned for his contributions to the definition of the challenges, opportunities and strategies for telecommunications development, Dr. Okpaku has served, inter alia, as an adviser to the United Nations ICT Task Force and a member of the Digital Divide Task Force of the World Economic Forum. His 2003 book, Information and Communications Technologies for African Development, defines the cutting-edge of the subject. An authority on Development, Governance (including eGovernance), Long-term Strategic Planning and Futures Studies, Dr. Okpaku has also written and lectured extensively worldwide in these areas in which he also consults for various institutions and international organisations, including the United Nations, United Nations Development Programme, UN-DESA, UN Unit for Technical Cooperation amongst Developing Countries (TCDC), the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR), the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the World Bank and several governments and organisations..

A respected scholar, author and critic whose intellectual interests and accomplishments (like his academic training) span the full spectrum from Science and Technology, through Global Strategic Development to Literature and the Arts, Dr. Okpaku, a Nigerian, holds a B. Sc. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, an M. Sc. in Structural Engineering from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature and Theatre History, also from Stanford University. He began his career as the founder and publisher of The Third Press, whose notable authors included Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, Poet-President Leopold Senghor, literary luminary, Chinua Achebe, renowned scholar-novelist, Ali Mazrui, and more. As a young publisher, he published the official biography of President Gerald Ford, Gerald Ford and the Future of the Presidency, when he was at the White House at the time of the Watergate crisis.

Dr. Okpaku, a highly-respected expert on the future of man and society, is also an authority on knowledge, innovation and the challenges of the 21st Century. One of the leading intellectuals of today, and Global Ambassador and Senior Fellow of the Billion Minds Foundation, Dr. Okpaku, who, widely considered a Renaissance man, is a very popular keynote speaker worldwide, was called “the philosopher of the New Millennium” in a 2002 Business Day article. In 2001, he caused intellectual sensation with Ownership of Problems, Intellectual Property and the Digital Divide---The Enabling Challenge of Solutions, his address on The Right of Ownership of Problems as Intellectual Property, given to the International Conference on e-Commerce and Intellectual Property by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, in Geneva, Switzerland. He is currently writing two books, Barack Obama and the Renewal of the American Dream and The Weakness of Power: How the United States is Living the Twentieth Century in the Twenty-First.

In what is considered to be his most ambitious effort to date, Dr. Joseph Okpaku, Sr., in collaboration with global partners, has created Project R&D, a strategic initiative to create world-class capacity in Science and Technology in Africa by mobilising universities, research and corporate institutions and individual experts worldwide to work closely with their African counterparts to build research and development capacity in each of the key areas of a modern socio-economy. This, he says, will replace poverty management with world-class science and technology-driven quantum development as a more worthy and efficacious development strategy for the continent and the developing world as a whole.

In a lead article for the Billion Minds Foundation, OUR PRISMATIC WORLD: Towards Smart Human Enterprise---Bringing Heart and Soul to Our Corporate Enterprises of the Future, Dr. Okpaku describes the enterprise of the Twenty-first Century, what he calls “the Smart Human Enterprise”, as “one with a heart and soul, an enterprise that is formed and predicated on a foundation of deeply-held and shared values, informed by an enlightened understanding of the profound value and the quintessence of humanity, and the life, culture, history and environment it sustains.”

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