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Charity Kabango, M.E.P.P. '10

Forging her own path

It was her desire to “leverage my engineering background to serve the public good” that brought Charity Kabango to the Master of Engineering and Public Policy (MEPP) program.

Raised in Canada, Kabango had earned her B.Eng in Ontario and worked in several technical engineering roles when she decided she wasn’t finding the right fit for her future.

“I had a deep passion to contribute to development in Africa in general and in my home country of Rwanda in specific,” she says.

“I knew that if I wanted to do international development work, I would need a master’s degree and the MEPP was such a perfect alignment. During my time at McMaster I began to flesh out ideas of what might be possible, and started to work with my partners on how we wanted to uniquely serve our world.”

Today Kabango is co-founder and Director at Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESPartners), a boutique advisory and investment firm that helps high-impact African entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

The organization supports early stage ventures through entrepreneurial competitions, incubators and accelerators. It also enables private sector led-development by providing consulting and strategy advisory services to diverse clients, including governments, businesses and development partners in Africa. 

“Since being with ESPartners, I've contributed to key engagements in Haiti, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Angola and Cote d'Ivoire, to name a few,” says Kabango. “In my client work I have supported leaders from the public, private and civil society. A big part of my role as the firm has grown is strategic leadership, operations and human resources.”

Her career highlights include being invited to speak on a panel with Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, a man whose leadership she admires.

For today’s students, she urges taking a wide perspective on the future.

“Don't limit yourself to the doors and options that are in front of you,” says Kabango. “The right answer might be A& B or might be none of the above. But the tools you pick up on the journey will be useful regardless. There can be a lot of joy in using the tools and skills to forge your own path.”