Rwanda’s Clare Akamanzi Appointed CEO of NBA Africa


NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced the appointment of Clare Akamanzi, a former cabinet member of Rwanda, as the Chief Executive Officer of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will assume her new role on January 23, 2024, and will report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.

Rwanda's Claire Akamanzi appointed NBA AFRICA CEO
Image: The New Times

As CEO, Akamanzi will be responsible for overseeing the NBA's business and basketball development efforts in Africa. Her key tasks include expanding the popularity of the sport, as well as the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL), throughout the continent. 

This will involve various initiatives such as grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility programs aimed at improving the lives of African youth and families.

Mark Tatum, NBA Chief Operating Officer, expressed confidence in Akamanzi's ability to lead the NBA's African division and praised her potential to "transform economies, communities, and lives across the continent" through the continued growth of basketball initiatives.

Akamanzi, who brings extensive international trade, business, and diplomatic experience, expressed her excitement about the opportunities ahead to build on the NBA's success in Africa. 

She highlighted the positive impact of sports on businesses, families, and communities in Africa, stating that the NBA and the BAL serve as excellent examples of this.

Prior to her appointment as CEO of NBA Africa, Akamanzi held positions such as Chief Operating Officer of RDB (Rwanda Development Board) and Head of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President of Rwanda. 

She has worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England.

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

Akamanzi's career has spanned seven different countries, and she holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. 

She earned a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where she received three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community. 

Additionally, she 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.

In 2020, Forbes recognized Akamanzi as one of Africa's Top 50 Powerful Women. 

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