John Tolley, February 14, 2020

In Africa and other parts of the world, millions of children open books and unlock the magic of reading. This may seem mundane to most, certainly, but not to these children. For them, a world filled with books – literacy in general – was never a given.

But thanks to the unparalleled vision and tireless work of one Rutgers University alum, the joy of reading is accessible to more than ever before.

Dr. Olubayi Olubayi is the president and co-founder of the Global Literacy Project (GLP), which supplies both books and computers to developing nations in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. Since 1999, the GLP has collected, sorted and shipped several million educational items to students in need.

Additionally, the project conducts educational and service-learning programs aimed at improving knowledge, enhancing global awareness and developing skills in the USA and abroad.

A microbiologist by training, Olubayi was born and raised in Kenya and educated at Rutgers. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology focusing on bacteria and plant cell interactions. Since then, Olubayi published numerous scholarly articles across a variety of fields. He has been an educator at both Middlesex College and Rutgers University as well as a government consultant and official in Kenya and South Africa.

Olubayi is also the founder and director of Kiwimbi International, a non-profit that confronts class disparity and access to education in his native Kenya. Their support reaches underserved schools, provides nutritious lunches, procures curriculum and educational materials, and funds vocational and agricultural training.

Currently, Olubayi also serves as the Chief academic officer of Maarifa Education, a best-in-class education company which aims to provide high quality instruction to millions of Africans over the next 30 years. Working with university partners across the continent, their goal is to turn Africa into an intellectual and economic powerhouse.