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Rwanda’s Akamanzi wins top Forbes Africa prize

The National Basketball Association (NBA) Chief Executive Officer and former CEO of the Rwanda Development Board, Claire Akamanzi, wins the Forbes Woman Africa Investment Catalyst Award.

The award was received during a Friday, 8th March event held at the Emperor’s Palace in South Africa.

As NBA Africa CEO, Clare Akamanzi oversees the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and is responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA, and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. 

Prior to joining NBA Africa in January 2024, Akamanzi spent six and a half years as CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. 

Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich, and TIME Magazine, among others. 

Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contributions to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award, and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award.

In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. 

Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK Rwanda, and Aviation, Travel, and Logistics (ATL) company.

She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.

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