Leadership on the Global Stage: Opportunities and Potential in Niger


Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 8:30am to 9:30am


HKS, Kalb Conference Room (Taubman 275)

A Conversation with Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, CEO of Niger's National Agency for Information Society (ANSI)
Moderated by Linda Mason, Chair of Mercy Corps

Ibrahima Guimba-SaidouIbrahima Guimba-Saidou, High Commissioner for ICT and CEO of Niger’s National Agency for Information Society (ANSI), will join in conversation with Linda Mason, Chair of Mercy Corps, a $450 million international relief and development agency headquartered in the United States. Tasked by President Mahamadou of Niger to head the newfound ANSI, Mr. Guimba-Saidou carries out one of the top national priorities: developing an e-government strategy for leading Niger’s transformation into a digital and knowledge-based society. With limited resources, Mr. Guimba-Saidou’s organization is leveraging technology to fuel development, transforming lives of the poor by creating access to information, education, and public services. Ms. Mason and Mr. Guimba-Saidou will discuss the opportunities and vast potential in Niger, today and beyond.

This event is open to the public. RSVP here.

Questions? Email cpl_events@hks.harvard.edu.

More about Mr. Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou

Mr. Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou has over 20 years of professional experience in the telecommunications industries worldwide. His expertise is in strategy, operations planning and management, market sizing, product marketing, business planning, Sales and Market development. Ibrahima has been recipient of several CEO Awards throughout his career. Ibrahima joined the government of Niger in November 2016 as High Commissionner (cabinet level position) in charge of ICT, reporting to the Prime Minister. He has been promoted in July 2017 to the CEO of the newly formed National Agency for the Information Society (ANSI), reporting directly to the President. Ibrahima is in charged of developing the strategy and leading Niger transformation into a digital and knowledge based society. In his role, he is in charge of the e-government strategy and its implementation, as well as enabling the entire ICT ecosystem. Ibrahima is also in charge of managing the National Universal Access Funds and is leading the "Village Intelligent" (Smart Village) presidential program aiming at connecting the unconnected (over 85% of the population. Ibrahima is also a board member of Niger Telecom, the State owned Telecommunication Company of Niger. Ibrahima has been appointed by the President as the Minister representing Niger on the Steering Committee of the Smart Africa Alliance.

Prior to joining the government, Ibrahima was the Senior Vice-President Commercial- Africa of SES ( a world leading commerce satellite operator) and General Manager of SES Astra Africa (Pty) Ltd. since January 2012. Before that he was Senior Key Director and Managing Sales Director with Intelsat, the world leadingcommercial satellite operator. He was previously Director of the Regional Marketing Management and Strategy team of Intelsat, a position he reached after having joined the company as a Communication Engineer in the Technical Operations Control Centre. Ibrahima was also the Managing Director of Intelsat in South Africa from 2004 to 2006. Ibrahima started his professional career at Société des Télécommunications Internationales du Niger (the then National operator of Niger) where he advised the Director General on new technologies. Ibrahima holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, after attending the faculty of Science (Mathematics and Physics) of the University of Niamey (Niger).

He received his Master’s degree in International Management, as well as an MBA from the University of Maryland. He has completed several Executive programs with the Wharton Business School (Aresty Institute) and The Centre of Creative Leadership (Leadership Development Program). Ibrahima has had a high level sportive career: member of Niger National Basketball team, forward of Olympic Football of Niamey (winner of Niger Top football league) and as Brown belt in martial art (Judo). He has also led various student and social associations in Niger and Canada (President of Africa student association of Ecole Polytechnic of Montreal, President of Niamey-Baobab Junior Economic Chamber and Vice-President of Niger Junior Chamber International).

More about Linda Mason

Ms. Mason is Chair of Mercy Corps, a $450m international relief and development agency playing a major role in crisis areas around the world including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, DRC, South Sudan, and Nigeria among others.  Ms. Mason travels extensively for Mercy Corps and has written and spoken extensively on humanitarian issues.  Earlier in her career she worked in Africa and Southeast Asia running emergency relief operations for CARE and Save the Children.  She is co-author of the book, Rice, Rivalry, and Politics – Managing Cambodian Relief.

Ms. Mason and her husband, Roger Brown, created and built Bright Horizons, the world’s largest worksite childcare organization.  Bright Horizons now operates over 1000 childcare centers and employs 30,000 people.  Bright Horizons was selected in 2017, for the 17th time, as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” by Fortune magazine. They also co-founded Horizons for Homeless Children, an organization providing childcare and related services to homeless children and their parents.  She is author of The Working Mother’s Guide to Life, published by Random House.

Linda Mason has her BA from Cornell University and her MBA from Yale School of Management.  She serves on the boards of The Packard Foundation, The Boston Foundation, Yale School of Management, Horizons for Homeless Children, Mercy Corps, and Bright Horizons.