Africa Leaders Magazine

CLARE AKAMANZI – CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB)

Clare Akamanzi is an international trade and investment lawyer, CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Member of the Cabinet of Rwanda. Prior to these roles, she served as Head of Strategy and Policy for President Paul Kagame and for over 7 years as COO of the RDB.

CLARE AKAMANZI - CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) - African Leaders Magazine

During her time working for the Rwandan government, and RDB in particular, there has been a surge in foreign investment and tourism. In addition, Rwanda’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business report reached a global top 40. She has led a team that has consequently generated 100,000 jobs for young Rwandans since 2017.

She began her career in 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters. The government of Rwanda appointed her as a diplomat/special trade negotiator at the WTO. Later, she transferred to the Rwandan embassy in London, the United Kingdom as the commercial diplomat (commercial attaché).

CLARE AKAMANZI - CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) - African Leaders Magazine

She returned to Rwanda in 2006 and was appointed Deputy Director General of the then Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA) “before RDB was merged with other institutions in 2008”. In 2008, Akamanzi became the Deputy Chief Executive Officer responsible for Business Operations and Services, at RDB. She later transitioned to being the Chief Operating Officer of the Rwanda Development Board. She then took study leave to pursue graduate studies in the United States. When she returned, she served as “Head of Strategy and Policy” in the President’s Office.

Clare is a Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) MPA alum, where she was the recipient of the Lucius N. Littaeur Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Public Service. She also holds an LLM in International Trade and Investment with distinction from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and LLM (Hons) from Makerere University, Uganda.

CLARE AKAMANZI - CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) - African Leaders Magazine

Her numerous accolades include being named as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in 2012, named among the Inaugural List of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2019 by Avance Media and one of Africa’s Top 20 leading women in economic development by Forbes in 2013.

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