Amb. Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza, has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwanda Development Board (RDB). The new CEO, appointed yesterday by the Cabinet, is a former Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization.
According to a statement, Rugwabiza was also appointed a member of the cabinet and Claire Akamanzi, who has been acting CEO, has been made the Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Her duties at WTO:
While at WTO, Rugwabiza was mainly in charge of development issues that included trade policy review, training, technical cooperation and trade facilitation.
She was one of four director-generals who served under director-general Pascal Lamy from October 2005 to September 2013 and was also in charge of WTO work program on aid for trade.
Before joining WTO, she served as Rwanda's envoy to the United Nations in Geneva and Switzerland. She is also the founder of the Rwandan Association of Women Entrepreneurs.
Previously, Rugwabiza served in various senior managerial positions in the private sector, both in Rwanda and abroad, including in a Swiss multinational corporation.
Akamanzi has previously served as RDB's COO, a position which, until yesterday, was held by Tony Roberto Nsanganira, the Head of Agriculture Development.
Akamanzi was promoted to the position of Acting CEO of RDB in June 2012 after the then CEO, John Gara, was transferred to a new body, the National Legal Reform Commission, as its president.
Gara had replaced Joe Ritch who is now a member of the Presidential Advisory Council, at the helm of RDB in March 2010, about year after RDB had come into existence.
RDB is a merger of several previously autonomous parastatal institutions, with government saying the move was a well thought out strategy designed to serve the private sector with distinction.
The merger helped cut red tape and resulted in a 'one-stop-center' which significantly enhanced service delivery to prospective investors, with World Bank now regularly listing Rwanda among top global Doing Business reformers and easiest places to start a business.
RDB has played a key role in making reforms in the business sector to improve the investment climate and make Rwanda one of the most preferred business destinations.
In May of this year, Jeune Afrique magazine named both Amb. Rugwabiza and Akamanzi among the 25 most influential women in business on the African continent.