Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl

Managing Director - African Innovation Foundation
Development Economics, Innovation systems

Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl is Managing Director of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) responsible for the overall management of the Foundation. She is also Program Director of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) and innovation ecosystems.


Pauline joined AIF in July 2011 and she works towards catalyzing market-orientated solutions for African-led development across the continent, building innovation ecosystems that will invigorate economic growth across Africa.


Pauline has more than 15 years’ international development experience with various UN bodies and international organizations in Africa, Europe and USA.  Prior to joining AIF, she worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement Foundation (RCSAF) in USA. Pauline currently serves as a board member of the Flame Tree Initiative, a US-based NGO that uses ICTs to address the digital divide through collaboration with African universities. She is also a Bellagio/PopTech Catalyst under a joint initiative between the Rockefeller Foundation and PopTech, working with a global community of innovators and thought leaders for positive social change.


Pauline has a Master’s degree in Poverty and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Sussex University, UK where she attended as a Fulbright Scholar. She also served as a Fulbright Fellow at UNESCO Paris, focusing on freedom of expression, democracy and peace. In April 2016, she received a certificate for completing the Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Education program on Innovation for Economic Development.


Pauline received the Social Responsibility Alumna Award from the University of Arizona Honors College for her ongoing commitment in promoting social responsibility.


Pauline has a passion for people and their development, and dedicates her efforts towards the economic and social empowerment of Africans through the promotion of entrepreneurship and homegrown innovations.