The mantra of the University of Ibadan is to raise individuals who would go forth into the society and pull giant strides and the University’s culture has entrenched this into UItes, and as they are being built up for academic excellence so also is the importance of character stressed.
This has shown evidently in the case of Olubanjo Olugbenga, a 2015 Alumnus of the University of Ibadan who graduated with first-class honours as he emerged as one of the finalists at the 2021 Earthshotprize in the “Fix our Climate” category with his Reeddi Capsules initiative.
The Earthshotprize Prize is an award sponsored by the Royal Foundation and presented to five winners for their contribution to environmental sustainability and Environmentalism. The award comes with a cash grant of 1 million Pound Sterling to continue their environmental work. The award had notable world leaders and industry tycoons and was hosted by Mike Bloomberg, the U.N Secretary-General’s Special Envoy For Climate Ambition and Solution.
Olubanjo Olugbenga, A Zikite, graduated with first-class honours in Civil Engineering in 2015. He is also a graduate of the University of Toronto where he holds a Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering.
He entered into the competition with his Reeddi Capsule initiative which was born out of the turmoil and experience he had while growing and the battle he faced living without reliable access to electricity. This spurred his invention of the Reeddi Capsule to prevent another generation from experiencing the same fate.
Reeddi Capsule is designed to provide clean, reliable and affordable electricity to energy-poor communities across Nigeria. It’s a solar-powered energy capsule, a lithium battery that can be rented and returned for $0.50 a day. It is designed to cut energy costs by 30% and also help boost local business. Gbenga said, ” My Earthshot is helping to fix the climate by providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to energy-poor regions of the world”.
Although He narrowly missed out on the “Fix Our Climate” prize, in the past he had scooped several accolades under his belt for his innovative ideas. Some of which includes; the University of Toronto Hult Prize, and the RBC Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Internationally Reeddi was awarded the MIT Clean Energy Prize Award, the best emerging decentralized energy Startup Award in North America by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE-EBL), and the IEEE Empower a Billion Lives Global Best Student Team Award. Also, Reddi won the 2019 Cisco Global Problem Solvers Challenge and the Bereskin and Parr Intellectual Property (IP) award amongst many others. He was one of the ten outstanding entrepreneurs selected as a BP One Young World Advancing Energy Scholar (from over 2500+ global applicants) for his innovative approach to business and obsession with social and environmental impact.
Gbenga is a strong enthusiast of human development and innovation. A strong believer in the African power and might and her ability to do great things and produce results of global reckoning. Amongst many things, He is also a poet, entrepreneur and an idea consultant for several international firms where he has proferred innovative solutions to companies and industry leaders. He constantly seeks to make a social impact in the sphere of environment and technology with market-creating innovations.