Emma Theofelus is a Namibian politician who made history in 2020 when she was appointed as the deputy minister of Information, Communication and Technology at the age of 23. She is the current youngest woman government minister in both Africa and Namibia, and one of the most influential leaders on the continent. In this blog post, we will explore her background, achievements and challenges as a young leader in a male-dominated field.
Emma Theofelus was born on 28 March 1996 in Namibia. She grew up with a passion for social justice and human rights, and became involved in youth activism at an early age. She served as the deputy speaker of the Children’s Parliament from 2013 to 2018, where she advocated for the rights and interests of children and young people in Namibia. She also participated in various regional and international platforms, such as the African Union Youth Forum and the United Nations Youth Assembly.
She pursued her education at the University of Namibia, where she graduated with a law degree in 2019. She then joined the Ministry of Justice as a legal officer, where she worked on various legal matters, such as drafting bills, contracts and policies. She also became a board member of the National Council of Higher Education, where she contributed to the development and regulation of higher education in Namibia.
Her life took an unexpected turn when she received a call from the State House in March 2020, informing her that she had been appointed as the deputy minister of Information, Communication and Technology by President Hage Geingob. She was one of the youngest cabinet members ever appointed in Africa, and the youngest in Namibia’s history. She accepted the appointment with humility and gratitude, saying that she was ready to serve her country and learn from her seniors.
As the deputy minister of ICT, she was tasked with assisting in leading public communication on preventative steps against Namibia’s COVID-19 pandemic. She also had to oversee the development and implementation of ICT policies and strategies, as well as promote digital transformation and innovation in Namibia. She faced some criticism and skepticism from some sections of society, who questioned her experience and qualifications for such a high-profile position. However, she responded with confidence and professionalism, saying that she was not special or inexperienced, but rather willing to work hard and learn from others.
She also faced some challenges as a young woman leader in a male-dominated field, such as gender stereotypes, discrimination and harassment. She said that she had to deal with some people who did not take her seriously or respect her authority because of her age and gender. However, she said that she did not let these challenges deter her from fulfilling her duties and pursuing her goals. She said that she was inspired by other women leaders who had paved the way for her, such as former presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Joyce Banda of Malawi.
Emma Theofelus has achieved remarkable feats in her short but impressive career. In 2020, she was named one of the 100 most influential African women by Avance Media, a leading PR and rating agency. She was also recognized as one of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2021, a list that celebrates inspiring and influential women from around the world. In 2022, she received the United Nations Population Award individual laureate award for her work advocating for women’s empowerment and adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Namibia. She also proposed a motion on the removal of tax on sanitary pads in Parliament, which was passed into law in 2022.
Emma Theofelus is a role model for many young people, especially girls and women, who aspire to become leaders in their fields. She has demonstrated that age and gender are not barriers to leadership, but rather assets that can bring fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to complex problems. She has also shown that leadership is not about power or prestige, but rather about service and responsibility. She has urged young people to be proactive and participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives and futures.
Emma Theofelus is not only the current youngest serving government minister in Africa, but also one of its brightest stars. She has proven that young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the leaders of today.
 Emma Theofelus – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Theofelus
 Namibia’s youngest MP enters the crucible as Africa’s youth lead the way | Governance | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/17/namibias-youngest-mp-enters-the-crucible-as-africa-youth-lead-way-emma-theofelus
 Meet Emma Theofelus, The Current Youngest Serving Government Minister In Africa – How Africa https://howafrica.com/meet-emma-theofelus-the-current-youngest-serving-government-minister-in-africa/
 At 27, Emma Theofelus is the current youngest serving government minister in Africa – Face2Face Africa https://face2faceafrica.com/article/at-27-emma-theofelus-is-the-current-youngest-serving-government-minister-in-africa