Meet Paula Ingabire, one of the most influential people in digital government”
Ms. Paula Ingabire is a Rwandan IT expert and politician who currently serves as her country’s Minister of ICT and Innovation. Prior to her appointment as minister, she served as the Head of the Kigali Innovation City initiative and the former Head of ICT at the Rwanda Development Board.
Illustrious educational background
Ms. Ingabire studied at the University of Rwanda where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Information Technology before proceeding to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she obtained a Master of Science degree in Information and Communication Technology.
A technical innovation leader
Ms. Ingabire has served as Head of the ICT Business Development Department at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and coordinator of the Kigali Innovation City Project; a flagship program of the Government designed to nurture and strengthen a Pan-African Innovation eco-system in Rwanda. As the Head of the ICT Business Development department in RDB, she led implementation of National ICT programs notably eGovernment and Cyber Security.
With 10 years’ experience leading ICT programs for economic development, she’s a keen advocate of the role of innovation and emerging technologies towards driving economic growth. Ms. Ingabire has propelled Rwanda forward in its adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution tools.
Women at the forefront of ICT
She is also part of Girls in ICT Rwanda and has also been at the helm of TransformAfrica, a platform that brings together innovators and policy makers across Africa to shape Africa’s digital transformation agenda. Through this platform, the SmartAfrica Alliance was born with a mission of coordinating implementation of interventions that leverage broadband infrastructure to drive Africa’s socioeconomic growth. In addition to her extensive experience in the ICT sector, Paula is a certified Project Management Professional.
Hon. Paula Ingabire is Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation appointed in October 2018, making her a member of Paul Kagame’s 50% women-Cabinet. Rwanda and Ethiopia are the only two African countries with gender equality in their Government.
Paula was named in 2019 by Apolitical among the Top 20 of the World’s 100 most influential people in digital government. She serves on the Global Council of the World Summit Award Board of Directors, WEF Cyber Security Board and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Network Advisory Board.
In March this year, Honourable Ingabire aged 37 was named among 115 young global leaders of the year 2020 by the World Economic Forum (WEF). This listing includes public officials, business innovators, artists, educators, technology developers, journalists, and activists who are under the age of 40.
Role model for young men and women
Ms. Ingabire serves as a role model for young Africans, particularly the girls, who look up to her as a symbol of resilience, determination and perseverance. Her success story proves that young Africans can achieve a lot when they possess the right tools to pursue their dreams. In this age of information and technology, young Africans can pursue and realize their dreams if leaders leverage their potential and create conductive environment for them. A greater engagement of the youth in Government and decision-making process stand to propel Africa to a new level of development and prosperity.