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Educator, political economist and author
David Himbara is an educator, political economist and author currently working as a consultant focusing on African economic reform.
Previously, Mr. Himbara has taught at universities including the University of Witwatersrand’s Graduate School of Public and Development Management in South Africa from 2010 to 2013. While there, Mr. Himbara led a team that succeeded in bringing the World Bank’s Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) to the university, where the program supports governmental clients throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Between 2011 and 2013, Mr. Himbara also worked as a lead consultant at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In addition, he served as a lead consultant for the African Development Bank in Tunisia in 2011, and in 2010, he served as chief strategist for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa.
A Rwanda native, Mr. Himbara spent a total of six years working for President Paul Kagame: from 2006 to 2010 as the head of strategy and policy in the Office of the President and from 2000 to 2002 as the principal private secretary to the president. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Himbara worked in South Africa as a lead strategist for North Cape Provincial Government before serving as a lead strategist on a joint Development Bank of South Africa-University of Witwatersrand project. Mr. Himbara returned to Rwanda in 2006 after President Kagame offered him a role focused on economic development. Tasked with improving national competitiveness, Mr. Himbara spearheaded efforts that ultimately improved Rwanda’s ranking in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report from 143rd to 67th out of 183 countries; Rwanda was named top reformer by the World Bank in 2010.
Prior to his time in Rwanda, Mr. Himbara was based in South Africa working as a private consultant; major assignments included lead consultancy on trade and investment harmonization for the Southern African Community and lead strategist on Indonesian export policy into South Africa. He also lectured on economic development as a senior lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand from 1994 to 1997 and was an assistant professor at Southern University in Louisiana from 1991 to 1993.
Mr. Himbara completed his PhD in political economy at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1991. His dissertation on the role of domestic entrepreneurs and the state in socioeconomic transformation was published as a book in 1994: "Kenyan Capitalists, the State and Development."