The New Times (Kigali)

8 December 2012

Rwanda: Hollywood Star Ben Affleck Mourns Inyumba

Photo: New Times
The late Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Aloisea Inyumba (file photo).

Hollywood actor Ben Affleck has paid tribute to the late Aloisea Inyumba, who has been the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion until she passed away on Thursday.

Ben Affleck, who is also a film director, producer and founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, wrote on his twitter account, "Deep sadness to lose a friend & hero, the remarkable Aloisea Inymba, Rwanda's minister, Gender and Family Promotion".

According to Fox23.com, Affleck had worked with Inyumba over the years in his efforts to raise awareness and aid for Rwanda's neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and he was upset to hear that the minister for Gender and Family Promotion had died at the age of 48 after a long battle with cancer.

Affleck has made several trips to Central Africa in recent years and he established his own charitable foundation, the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010 to help women and children affected by rape and sexual violence as reported by Fox23.com news.

Upon learning about the death of Inyumba, President Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda and RPF chairman also tweeted, "What a great loss in the passing away of A. Inyumba for RPF, nation and all of us at a personal level!!? Among the best of RPF and national leaders!"

He tweeted again: "A. Inyumba will be greatly missed and remembered among others for her liberation and gender credentials/effort(s)! May her Soul Rest in Peace."

The late Inyumba, who passed on at the age of 48, died of cancer on Thursday, at around 10a.m. She is survived by a husband and two children, a daughter aged 15, and a son aged 10.

She was a board member of Women for Women International (Washington, DC), and the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace in Kigali.

The late minister was awarded an honorary doctorate by La Roche College in the United States and also held an Honours Degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University, Uganda.

She also had a Masters of International Relations from the Irish American University and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy.

She had served as the executive secretary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission and governor of the then Kigali Ngali prefecture. Before that, she had spent almost seven years as a senator.

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