Jean Philbert Nsengimana is Honorary Chair of the Alliance for Affordable Internet, and Special Advisor to the Smart Africa initiative. In his role, he supports the Executive Director on overall organizational strategy, operations, partnership, resource mobilization, corporate communication and branding. Phil is a strong believer in the combined power of leadership, technology, innovation and inclusive partnerships to drive Africa’s digital transformation.
Prior to joining Smart Africa, Phil served successively as Cabinet Minister of Youth and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Government of Rwanda for six years. In that capacity, he spearheaded several flagship initiatives including TransformAfrica, Smart Africa and YouthConnekt Africa, and led the design and implementation of the Smart Rwanda Master Plan, with policies on broadband for all, digital literacy, cybersecurity, national data revolution, digital health, education, governance, trade, finance and innovation in the Fourth Industrial Industry. During his tenure as Minister, Rwanda embarked on several strategic public-private partnerships, which resulted in several world and Africa “firsts”, including the rollout of Africa’s largest national 4G LTE network, covering 95% of Rwanda’s population, and the world’s first commercial use of drones for delivering live-saving medical supplies.
Phil has over 15 years of experience, including successful stints in the private and international development sectors, as well as in academia, where he started his career. He holds an MBA from Singapore’s SP Jain School of Global Management and a Master’s of Science in Software Engineering from the University of Rwanda.
In his spare time, Phil enjoys reading, writing and playing golf. He speaks English and French fluently.