Fem Bosses Meet: Clare Akamanzi an ICT Advocate From Rwanda
It has been 20 years since the ethnic clashes that occurred in Rwanda that lead to the massacre of 1 million Rwandan citizens. A lot has been said in the main stream media about the genocide, but Rwanda has undergone a lot of changes with the assistance of Fem Boss Clare Akamanzi.
Despite Rwanda’s tragic history event that occurred 20 years ago, it still gave one Fem Boss Clare Akamanzi the opportunity to make it to the exclusive Forbes’s list of 20 Young Power Women in Africa 2013. Today Innov8tiv Magazine takes a look at exactly what does Akamanzi do and the impact she has on her socio-economic environment in Rwanda and Africa in general.
Clare Akamanzi is the current Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Development Board (RDB). An organization commissioned by the government of Rwanda to act as an accelerator for Rwanda’s economic growth and development through empowering growth of the private sector. Akamanzi has had a successful career prior to her career at RDB: she previously served as a commercial diplomat for Rwanda in London, she was Rwanda’s trade negotiator in Geneva at the World Trade Organization and also served as the Deputy Director-General for the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA).
Akamanzi as the COO of RDB is charged with the task of ensuring that the organization transforms Rwanda to be globally pronounced centre of innovation, investments and businesses. “The scope of our work includes all aspects related to the development of the private sector. This involves working with and addressing the needs of companies of all sizes (large, SMEs) and both local and foreign investors” as quoted in RDB’s website.
Akamanzi and the entire RDB senior management believes in ICT as being the driving force behind Rwanda’s transformation to becoming a knowledge based economy. Hence they have formulated relevant policies and availed relevant infrastructures to boost ICT growth in Rwanda. Something that can be said to have largely attributed to Rwanda currently being one of the fastest growing African nations in terms of ICT. This can be seen through: mobile technologies, e-services, e-commerce, applications development and Rwanda becoming a top regional center for training of ICT professionals and research work.
Clare Akamanzi leadership role at RDB has appreciated several factors about Rwanda, and are using these to their advantage to boost Rwanda’s economy. Some of these competitive advantages the ICT sector enjoys in Rwanda includes:
- 98% of Rwanda’s population is below 50 years old out of these 43% is below the age of 16. Hence Rwanda enjoys a young and highly dynamic workforce that can easily adapt to use and employment of ICT in their day to day lives as well as in their place of work.
- Rwanda was voted as the 8th best place in the world to do business in, back in 2012. Hence it has suitable business environment making implementation of RDB strategies all the more effective.
- According to the Transparency International Bribery Index report 2012, Rwanda is the least corrupt country in the East African region, with such low to zero levels of corruption implementation of public policy is highly effective since there is little to no embezzlement of resource.
- Rwanda is a bilingual country, speaking both English and French. Thus can adapt to the international ICT development quite easily.
Clare Akamanzi recognition by Forbes Magazine among 20 Young Power Women in Africa 2013 was largely based on her role as the COO of RDB and the achievement her organization has achieved through her efforts in conjunction with the team work spirit of the rest of the Senior Management Board of RDB.