28 October 2008

Rwanda: Sezibera Sworn in

Kigali — Rwanda's new Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera, took oath of office, yesterday afternoon in front of a fully packed high-level assembly at Parliament in Kimihurura.

The swearing-in was presided over by President Paul Kagame. The former Presidential Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region replaced Dr. Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo in a recent mini cabinet reshuffle. Ntawukuliryayo is now one of two Deputy Speakers of Parliament.

President Kagame thanked Dr. Sezibera for accepting the job and promised him his support in his new duties.

The President said there were many issues and challenges and requested Dr. Sezibera to continue the good work and even surpass what his predecessors had accomplished.

He reminded them of the current global financial market predicament, saying that it has serious repercussions on all countries, Rwanda included.

President Kagame called for more vigilance and use of all possible means to list and tackle the country's challenges. His remarks comes two days after leaders from across Asia and Europe meeting in Beijing, called for a coordinated response to the global financial crisis.

They recognised the need to improve the supervision and regulation of all financial actors; in particular their accountability.

Speaking to The New Times shortly after the swearing in ceremony, Dr. Sezibera also commended Dr. Ntawukuliryayo's job at the Ministry.

"As the President has said, the Ministry of Health has done a good job under Dr. Ntawukuliryayo, and as you know, we've attained most MDG's (Millennium Development Goals)," he said.

Rwanda has been lauded internationally as one of the few African countries to have met the MDG's to do with the eradication of Malaria and HIV/AIDS, as part of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).

Dr. Sezibera pointed out that Rwanda has received many awards in different fields including sanitation and praised the ministry's country-wide staff for a job well done.

"They have all done an excellent job and I hope to continue with it," he said.

"Of course there are many challenges, but I know that working together we shall be able to consolidate these important gains in the Ministry."

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