Tech Women: Meet Roya Mahboob, Afghanistan’s Top Entrepreneur

5 Roya Mahboob

Roya Mahboob is a great woman of substance for two reasons. She is a successful entrepreneur who founded the Afghan Citadel Software Company. Also, she is among the first female CEOs in the IT field in a country where women venturing out to work is a taboo.

Know more about this remarkable woman and her achievements:


Mahboob learned English by volunteering at a French NGO specializing in media. She then enrolled in information and communications technology courses offered for women by the United Nations Development Programme.

In 2005, Mahboob enrolled in a bachelor’s degree of Computer Science for information and communications technology at Herat University. After her graduation in 2009, Mahboob worked as IT-Director at the Herat University and later as project coordinator at the IT-Department of the Ministry of Higher Education.

She also earned her MBA Degree in Information Technology from World Wide Science in Malaysia in May 2011.

“You have to show everybody that men and women are equal. Women can do something if you allow them. Give them opportunity and they can prove themselves” – Mahboob

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Career and Achievements

  • Mahboob founded the Afghan Citadel Software Company (ACSC) in 2010 along with two Herat University classmates and an investment of $20,000. Her aim was to create jobs for recent university graduates, especially women in Afghanistan’s growing tech market. The company employs at least 20 programmers, more than half of which are women.
  • She also initiated a project called Women’s Annex that enables women to kickstart their careers as filmmakers. It also provides financing for video content on social media.
  • The entrepreneur also works towards building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan.
  • In 2014, Mahboob joined the Advisory Board of the international think tank Global Thinkers Forum.
  • Mahboob was named as TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World for 2013.
  • In 2015, she was chosen as World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Michael Dukakis Leadership Fellow

Mahboob is the quintessence of grit and determination that helped her build her career and elevate the lives of a number of women around.

Read Also: US Engineer Frances Arnold becomes first woman to win the Millennium Technology Prize