On February 9, 2024, Emma Theofelus, a 27-year-old Nambian politician, was appointed as the new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) minister by President Nangolo Mbumba.
She became the youngest woman government minister in Africa and Namibia in the process. Born on March 28, 1996, Theofelus was a member of parliament and the deputy minister of ICT in the Republic of Namibia before her recent rise in rank.
At the time of her cabinet appointment (March 2020), Theofelus was 23 and was also a board member of the National Council of Higher Education. In her role, she was tasked with assisting in leading public communication on preventative steps against Namibia’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
Theofelus has an LLB Honours Degree from the University of Namibia, a diploma in Business Management from Amity University, and a diploma in Afrikan Feminism and Gender Studies from the University of South Africa.
In June 2022, she was awarded a Laureate in the Individual Category of the United Nations Population Award and named one of the BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women in the World in 2021 amongst other nominations and recognitions.
She is currently an Amujae Leader 2023 under the mentorship of H.E Ellen Jonson-Sirleaf and serves on the Boards of Africa REACH and NalaFEM.
Her advocacy for youth empowerment and sustainable development in her country, on the continent, and the globe has been consistent since 2009 when she championed the recognition of children’s rights in Namibia. She has also worked with continental and global youth organisations to bring the needs and voices of young people to the attention of the world’s decision-makers.