Ghana's Fred Swaniker gets top appointment from Rwanda's Paul Kagame
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Ghana's Fred Swaniker gets top appointment from Rwanda's Paul Kagame

- Fred Swaniker has been appointed to a key government position by Rwandan President Kagame

- Swaniker, known globally as a businessman and an entrepreneur, is to head one of the strategic business units of Rwanda's tourism board

- The appointment sees the Ghanaian join other world business leaders as advisers for Kagame

Fred Swaniker, one of Ghana's most popular entrepreneurs worldwide who is the founder and CEO, Africa Leadership Academy (ALA), has been given a top appointment by Rwanda President Paul Kagame.

Swaniker has been appointed by Kagame to chair the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB), a strategic business unit of Rwanda Development Board’s Tourism and Conservation Department.

The RCB is tasked with milking every little from the global tourism market, specifically targeting Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), a strategy Rwanda believes will create value in the tourism sector, the country’s largest foreign exchange earner, fetching an annual average of about $500 million.

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According to a report sighted on, Kagame made the appointment with the hopes that that Swaniker's global business acumen will add value and help push Rwanda's agenda of generating more revenues from tourism.

By his appointment, the 43-year-old Ghanaian businessman who aims to develop Africa's own Steve Jobs through his ALA has joined the pool of other global CEOs who advise Kagame.

Born in Ghana in 1976, Swaniker's father who was a lawyer and a magistrate fled the country with his family after a military coup when the boy was only four years old. The family moved about a lot and by the time Swaniker was 18, he had lived in four African countries.

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A graduate of the Macalester College in Minnesota, he was initially employed by McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg, before attending the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California for an MBA and was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class at Stanford.

While at Stanford, Swaniker wrote the business plan for ALA, a special pan-African school that would groom the future leaders of Africa. This was based on his belief that the single largest impediment to Africa's progress was the lack of good leadership.

He used his Silicon Valley connections to find financial backing and launched the Academy immediately after graduating in 2004. By 2017, almost 1,000 future leaders had joined the ranks of the Academy. For most students, tuition is waived, provided they promise to return to Africa after graduating from college.

Swaniker's work as an educational entrepreneur has been praised by the prominent people including former US President Barack Obama. Apart from that, he has been recognized as a TED Fellow (2009) and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader (2012). He was named one of the Top Ten Young Power Men in Africa by a 2011 Forbes Magazine online feature.

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Source: Yen

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