Rehmah Kasule is the Founder of CEDA International in Uganda and USA, and a Senior Fellow of Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative. She is a civil society champion, social innovator, and a prolific serial entrepreneur who started her first business, Century Marketing, at 26 years. In 2007, she shifted from building brands to shifting mind-sets and founded a non-profit organization that is purposefully building a generation of ethical and values-based leaders and entrepreneurs who are economically independent, socially responsible, and politically active. Her work is a catalyst in re-framing people’s thinking to get the agency to take charge of their lives and confidently lead change in their communities. Rehmah has skilled, mentored, and empowered 168,000+ youth and women leaders and entrepreneurs across Africa, including refugee camps, rural and slum areas. Her work was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2010 and has won several international awards, including Fortune/Goldman Sachs Global Women Leaders Award in 2014 and the Islamic Development Bank Women in Peace and Development Prize. Rehmah is a Let Girls Learn Global Ambassador and was named one of the Most Influential African Women in government and civil society in 2016. Amanda Ellis, an International Gender Specialist, described Rehmah as “an African Light House,” guiding the future generation.
Rehmah is passionate about gender equality, inclusive development, racial justice, diversity, social inclusion, and connectedness. With a 25-year solid track record as a gender and youth empowerment expert, she has mobilized cross-sector strategic partnerships with private, public, civil society, and international organizations. Rehmah has successfully designed and led large-scale impact and innovative projects for girls’ education, peacebuilding, women leadership, youth workforce development, and small and medium enterprises management. She has delivered private sector development, strategic planning, policy, and gender mainstreaming consultancy for the United Nations, African Development Bank, International Trade Centre, and European Investment Bank.
Rehmah is an author of the book “From Gomba to the White House,” speaks on high-level global dialogues, and has held leadership positions on multiple boards. A graduate of Peace, Conflict, and International Development from the University of Bradford, Rehmah is a Vital Voices Fellow, Synergos Senior Fellow, KAICIID International Fellow, and an Aspen Global Leaders Fellow. In 2019, during the yearlong fellowship at Harvard University, she innovated the PLUS+AFRICA Linkubator. This social venture is focused on the ‘future of work’ by creating employment pathways for youth and working with governments to strengthen the education-to-work and entrepreneurship eco-systems in Africa.
Rehmah was born a village girl, but she refused to become a village woman. From a young age, she questioned the discrimination and injustices caused by the gender, religious, racial, and patriarchal cultural norms that impede girls and women from fulfilling their potentials. She strongly believes that education breaks intergenerational cycles of poverty and she is committed to providing opportunities to change life trajectories - one girl at a time.