Roya Mahboob

Afghan tech entrepreneur

Roya Mahboob is an Afghan tech entrepreneur and the founder of Citadel Software, a software development company based in Herat. In addition to being one of Afghanistan’s first female tech CEOs, Mahboob founded the Digital Citizen Fund, a nonprofit that aims to increase women’s technological literacy and provide employment and educational opportunities for girls in Afghanistan. Mahboob was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013 for her innovative initiatives to expand computer education. She has created nine IT centers for girls in high schools across Afghanistan and plans to expand her programs to 40 schools, ultimately reaching more than 160,000 female students. Mahboob has also taken her model beyond Afghanistan to schools in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. After facing death threats from the Taliban and others for her work, Mahboob left the country in 2013 and spent two years working remotely before returning to Afghanistan in 2016. She founded the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, also known as the Afghan Dreamers, an all-girl robotics team.

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