27 February 2013

Rwanda: New Ministers Outline Priorities

Photo: Eric Miller/WEF
President Paul Kagame (file photo).

The New cabinet ministers, who took oath of office on Tuesday, are set to energise their respective sectors. The ministers, who seperately spoke to The New Times, outlined priorities for their new posting.

Mukantabana to use experince, Imena to market mining sector and Gasinzigwa for Inyumba legacy

Gasinzigwa in continuity

Oda Gasinzigwa, who has taken over the Gender and Family Promotion ministry, said her appointment is a continuity of what she has been doing. Prior to her appointment, Gasinzigwa, 47, was the Chief Gender Monitor, a docket she has held since 2008. Among her plans for the new appointment is to ensure economic empowerment of women and family promotion.

She replaces Aloisea Inyumba, who passed on last year. Inyumba is remembered for her campaigns of family promotion and Gasinzigwa intends to carry on that legacy.

"We have in place policies to empower women, but we need a strategy of realising our vision. The policies should have an impact on the communities and the only way to achieve that is through family promotion, the reason I will carry on the legacy of the Late Inyumba," said Gasinzigwa.

The mother of four is also planning strategies of having more influential women entrepreneurs in the country to fight unemployment.

Imena to eyes sustainable mining

Evode Imena, the new State Minister in the Ministry of Natural Resources in-charge of Mining, dreams of sustainable mining.

"I plan to implement regional certification mechanism for our minerals so that we improve their market value. This has previously been tried, but I will add my efforts to ensure we realise it," Imena, who has been working in the same ministry for the last four years as head of the Mineral Exploration Unit, said.

Mukantabana to use experience

Séraphine Mukantabana has been handed the Refugees and Disaster Management docket two years after returning from a 17-year refugee status in Congo Brazzaville. Given this background, she says she is conversant with the issues at hand.

"There is a thin line between disasters and refugees issues; none of these is pre-planned and the strategies to confront them are almost similar. I have a vast experience in refugee management and I have previously worked in the same ministry as an in-charge of refugee projects and repatriation," she said.

She wants Rwandan refugees to voluntarily return home and those who intend to stay wherever they are living should acquire residential permits, not refugee status.

Lwakabamba relishes challenge

Former Rector of the National University of Rwanda (NUR), Prof. Silas Lwakabamba, was appointed Minister of Infrastructure.

He enjoys iconic status in the education sector for his previous accomplishments as Rector of the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, and NUR.

"I'm excited with the new challenge, but there are things which I can't do alone; I've to work in a team," Lwakabamba said

An engineer by training, the new Infrastructure minister said increasing electricity supply remains a critical issue to tackle even if there are other issues in the infrastructure sector, including water and roads.

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