Afghan Biographies

Mahboob, Roya Mrs.


Name Mahboob, Roya Mrs.
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth 1987
Function/Grade Afghan Citadel Services CEO
History and Biodata

2. Previous Functions:
IT Project Coordinator Ministry of Higher Education (2009)
Founder and CEO Afghan Citadel Services ACS  (2010 -· )

3. Biodata:
mahboob_royaMrs Roya Mahboob daughter of Ahkhtar Mohammed Mahboob was born 1987 in Herat Province. She grew up in Iran where seh went to High School and from where she and her family moved to Herat in 2003. Later she enrolled in Information and communications technology courses offered for women by the United Nations Development Programme. She pursued a computer sciences degree at Herat University. After graduation she stayed on as a junior faculty member in the university’s computer lab.

She is the founder and CEO of an IT Company "Afghan Citadel Services"· in the western city of Herat in 2010. Her staff of 20 software programmers -- more than half of them women -- develops computer software for government ministries, universities, and international organizations in Afghanistan. Mahboob previously has served as project coordinator for the Afghan Higher Education Ministry's IT department. Then she founded her firm with several classmates from Herat University back in 2010 with start-up capital of just $20,000 -- most of it coming from their own savings. She owns 45 percent of ACS, with the remaining shares divided among the two former Herat University classmates and her brother and sister.

Afghan Citadel Services currently has ongoing or finished projects worth approximately $500,000. Among the projects the company has completed are a patient-management system created for Afghan hospitals and a student-registration system for universities and private schools. Recently (2012), the company has opened new offices, including one in the capital, Kabul. Mahboob has also hired more staff to meet needs as the company's business expands.· The company is also expanding into other sectors. Early forough_fereshta2012 it partnered with Film Annex (Mrs. Fereshte Forough see picture left), an online film distribution platform, to launch the Afghan Development Project. The project seeks to show "a new face" of Afghanistan by broadcasting current events-related videos, interviews, and news clips. Her company is also working with Film Annex to equip Afghan schools with Internet access in order to connect students with the outside world -- and discourage them from joining the insurgency.

On 18 April 2013, Mahboob was named as one of the TIME Magazine’s top 100 Most Influential People in the World for her work in building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan and for Women’s Annex, a multilingual blog and video site hosted by Film Annex.
 

Background:
Paul Brinkley, a Silicon Valley veteran before joining the US government, founded the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan in 2010, to link the department’s military operations with economic development. That program led to the Herat Information Technology Program, which started in May 2011 with an inaugural class of seven Afghan entrepreneurs, including Mahboob. The program’s goal is to show the potential of Afghanistan once international forces withdraw troops and treasure by the end of 2014: that, with a little bit of help from the international community, talented and determined Afghans are succeeding despite an enduring insurgency, a frequently inefficient and sometimes corrupt bureaucracy, and a weak domestic economy.

 
Last Modified 2016-05-05
Established 2012-12-03