Lydie Hakizimana is Improving Rwanda’s Reading Culture

Lydie Hakizimana is the Founder and CEO of Happy Hearts, a chain of preschools that is providing quality education to hundreds of children between the ages of 18 months and six years old in Rwanda.

She is also the co-founder of Drakkar Ltd, a publishing house that serves more than 3,000 schools. She has about 10 years of experience in various fields of education and particularly in publishing


She previously worked at Harvard University on a project to scale up her schools by providing quality early education and creating educational programs accessible to all. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In 2018, Lydie was appointed as a board member of the African Leadership University (ALU). In 2019, ALU was named one of the most innovative companies in the world and number 1 in Africa by Fast Company. Lydie also sits on the board of the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences
(AIMS).

She has worked with major publishers such as Longman, Pearson, Heinemann and Penguin and her startup currently has 45 employees.

Lydie Hakizimana is a recipient of numerous awards among others the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellowship in 2013 and the Mandela Washington Fellowship in 2016. Prior to this, Lydie worked for OTF Group, a Boston based consultancy firm founded by Michael Porter among others.

At OTF, Lydie advised the government of Rwanda and Gabon in Information Communication Technologies, the Hides and Skin and Timber industry respectively. Lydie is a certified Montessori teacher from the North American Montessori Center (NAMC) in Canada.

Lydie plans to open a second school in Africa and continue to publish books in her local language in order to contribute to the promotion of a culture of reading in Rwanda.

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