Roya Mahboob is one of three founders of Afghan Citadel Software Company. Born in Afghanistan, Mahboob moved to Pakistan and later Iran with her family following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. She enrolled on an information and communications technology course offered by the UN Development Programme and later completed her bachelors in Computer Science at Herat University.


For a start, being a founder and CEO of your own company in a country where some still believe that a woman’s work is in the home is an impressive feat. Not only this, ACSC created excellent opportunities for women to work in the emerging technology industry, with over half of their staff being women and even allowing staff to work from home, making these careers as accessible as possible. Roya has also spent a lot of time advocating for access to technology, particularly for women. Roya founded the Digital Citizen Fund (www.digitalcitizenfund.org) which aims to empower and educate women and children through Digital Literacy, Sustainability and Community Building. The DCF builds fully equipped IT centre with trained staff, giving access to technologies which some communities are so desperately lacking. They offer digital Literacy Training aimed primarily at women between the ages of 12-18 to ensure they have the skills needed to utilise new technologies in educational and professional settings. With these skills and resources, women who previously were denied access to digital freedom are able to compete in an increasingly digital and connected world.


For me, I will always admire somebody who has started their own company, worked hard and strived to achieve something. What I find really inspirational is those who use their power, success and other resources to try and change the lives of others. This is exactly what Roya Mahboob has done. It is also the astuteness, to be aware that as society changes, new inequalities arise. Charities have been fighting for a long time for various causes, but only recently has technological inequality risen to the forefront of our minds and that is thanks to people like Roya and the DCF.

Image source: http://alchetron.com/Roya-Mahboob-444407-W