RIFE International CEO, Kwabena Osei-Sarpong was selected as an honoree on the 2018 Washington Business Journal’s (WBJ) 40 Under 40 list.
The list compiled "standouts" in his or her industry who showed commitment to business success and personal growth and a passion to strengthen the communities in which they serve. The award honours individuals who exceed in their various industries and step up as leaders of tomorrow.
With his first job as a sales associate and store manager of his mother’s small clothing store in Tema, Osei-Sarpong developed interest in business, leadership and service delivery, which is evident in his company’s approach toward problem-solving.
Osei-Sarpong attended the Presbyterian Boys Secondary School in Legon, where he was senior prefect in 1999, and the University of Ghana, Legon before moving to the United States.
A former Apex Society 30 under 30 list winner, Osei-Sarpong was recognized for his achievements in business and civic engagement in the US and markets overseas, namely in his native country of Ghana.
With offices in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Accra, RIFE continued its expansion into markets in need of energy efficiency and sustainable development solutions.
RIFE executed several dynamic projects, engagements and studies for Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations throughout the US, Africa, and Europe. In Ghana, RIFE worked with malls, office properties, manufacturing facilities, and educational institutions to optimize energy efficiency and advocate for affordable clean power generation through solar and other renewable sources.
Osei-Sarpong was at the forefront of pioneering energy efficiency solutions in Africa and featured as a guest speaker to discuss implementing energy efficiency strategies in local commercial and industrial markets. In May 2018, Osei-Sarpong was a guest panelist at the Africa Utility Week Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, where he shared insights on how to provide universal access to energy efficiency and sustainable development solutions. This conference is the largest convention for energy, power, and water utility stakeholders in Africa.
In July 2018, Osei-Sarpong spoke at an energy forum in Contonu, Benin that was organized by the U.S. – Africa Clean Energy Standards Program, Power Africa, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and American National Standard Institute.
Additionally, RIFE was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce international export grant to promote its trade efforts in expanding energy efficiency solutions in Africa and Europe.
When asked by the WBJ if he would move to Mars if a colony is built, Osei-Sarpong said, “Only if I can be president. The first task on my agenda will be to partner with Elon Musk to create the Department of Futuristic Innovations, which will make a zero-net energy planet.”
With a good sense of humor and an affable personality, Osei-Sarpong looks up to successful companies and entrepreneurs whose products and services impact the communities they serve. By studying how captains of industry leverage new technologies, Osei-Sarpong believes innovation in problem-solving is a tremendous competitive advantage in serving the needs of customers seeking to achieve energy efficiency.
RIFE deployed an energy monitoring technology, Smart Tile, for facilities in Ghana that enables building/facility managers and owners to monitor their energy consumption in real-time for different parts of their facilities. It also stores historical energy data, which helps to inform energy efficient and improvement decisions that lower the amount of energy used and reduce utility bills. This technology, in tandem with battery technology that supports and stores solar energy, also manages and minimizes peak demand charges which form a bulk of energy costs.
Furthermore, Osei-Sarpong told the WBJ his hope for the energy industry 40 years from now would be global access to affordable clean energy and energy efficiency solutions with high deployment rates in underserved areas of the world, hence the mission of RIFE International.
Other notable accolades for Osei-Sarpong include 2015 Business Of The Year awarded for small businesses in Maryland and 2014 Top 100 MBE firm In The Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. by the Mayor’s Office of Baltimore. He serves as an advisory board member for ENACTUS in Ghana, on the Government and Business Leaders for Radford University, and as a master coach for the Skinner Leadership Institute in D.C. He is a former president and board member of the African American Real Estate Professionals of D.C. and the Educational Accessibility for Children in Hardship Foundation in Ghana. He also previously served as a board member of the African Diaspora For Change Foundation in Maryland.
Osei-Sarpong also told the WBJ that a part of his retirement would mean developing and mentoring tomorrow’s future leaders and entrepreneurs, as he believes the next generation of leaders must be especially equipped to solve problems of the future.
Osei-Sarpong holds a master’s from Georgetown University with a focus on sustainable development and further pursued executive education from Harvard Business School. Osei-Sarpong and other winners were honored at a special event on June 26, 2018, at the PNC Diamond Club at Nationals Park in D.C.
About RIFE International
RIFE International LLC is a global, full-service energy efficiency and sustainable construction services firm that delivers innovative energy and construction solutions that positively impact the environment and a client’s bottom line.
RIFE provides services to high-profile government, institutional, and commercial sector clients, including federal, state, and local governments. More information can be found at www.rifeintl.com.