#TFAAspotlight: Clarisse Iribagiza is changing the game with technology in Africa

Clarisse Iribagiza is a computer scientist, co-founder/CEO of HeHe Limited – a mobile technology company, and is one of the UNCTAD’s seven “eTrade for Women Advocates from the developing world“.

What else?

  1. Clarisse founded her company whilst still an undergraduate; a company that has scaled to have two million customers. Hehe has six labs in Rwanda, working with Rwanda students in high schools and colleges, and has partnered with GirlHub in an initiative that aims to inspire ambition in Rwandan girls. Through Hehe labs, more than 13,000 girls have been empowered for technology entrepreneurs.
  2. In 2011, Clarisse and other ICT entrepreneurs started iHills – a platform that provides mentoring both financially and market-wise setup for start up entrepreneurs in technology in Rwanda.
  3. She was the winner of the East African entrepreneur reality TV show Inspire Africa Season 1 in 2012, where she won the grand prize of $50,000 grant out of 24 youth from East Africa. At the African CEO’s summit in 2012, she was among the 20 movers and shakers of Africa.
  4. She was awarded by the first lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame in 2013 as a Young Rwandan Achievers (CYRWA) organised by Imbuto Foundation.
  5. Clarisse was listed among the top 100 global thinkers by LSDP (Lo Spazio della Politica), an Italian think tank in 2014. In the same year, she addressed African presidents at transform Africa summit in Rwanda and her team won the $7,500 prize, and also worked with SafeBoda in Uganda in partnership with Red Cross in November 2014 to connect drivers and customers.
  6. Clarisse was nominated among the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs under 30 in Africa in 2015 by Forbes.
  7. She was nominated for The Future Awards Africa Prize in Enterprise Support, 2015.
  8. Clarisse has been a member of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group since 2016, and has volunteer experience as an ambassador World Innovation Forum Foundation.
  9. This year, 2020, she hosted a 3-day event in conjunction with eTrade for all partners that targets established women digital entrepreneurs from selected East African countries that includes networking, learning and policy engagement sessions. She believes small businesses need technology to level up.
  10. She once said “The youth today have access to a lot of knowledge and information as a result of the information era that we are in. Technological advancements have also broken down geographical barriers that existed a decade ago. I see young people in my organization teaching themselves the latest programming techniques online and collaborating with their colleagues in Uganda or Kenya. I see great opportunities for collaboration. across borders to build and scale ideas.”

Clarisse is the future!


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