1 September 2017

Rwanda: Premier Ngirente Pledges to 'Serve With Devotion'

Photo: New Times
President Paul Kagame and members of the new cabinet.

Edouard Ngirente, the new prime minister, yesterday officially assumed office and pledged to take on his new role with devotion and especially embrace teamwork as he works toward furthering the country's development agenda.

During the handover ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kimihurura, his predecessor Anastase Murekezi, who has headed government since July 2014, pledged continuous advice to his predecessor, whenever called upon.

"I thank the President for entrusting me with this important assignment which I accepted and assured him that I will give my all, in delivering for Rwanda. I thank the outgoing prime minister, who is now the Chief Ombudsman, for his good work during his term in office," Ngirente said.

"I promise to follow in his footpath and do all I can, for Rwanda. I want to assure the team here at the Prime Minister's Office and the new ministers of my dedication to work, and collaboration. Without collaboration we shall not be able to achieve much and it must be an important foundation for all that we seek to achieve."

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday appointed Ngirente, 44, as Rwanda's sixth Prime minister since post Genocide Rwanda.

Ngirente has worked with and for government before, but lately, before his appointment as Prime Minister, he worked with the World Bank Group in Washington DC as a senior Advisor to the Executive Director in charge of 20 African countries.

Ngirente who is married and has two children was born in Gakenke district, Northern Province.

Murekezi informed his successor that a lot of work awaits him and, that he does not doubt the latter's capacity to deliver given that he is younger, intelligent and patriotic.

The Office of the Prime Minister, Murekezi noted, is responsible for coordinating national policies and development programmes, monitoring and evaluating implementation of national policies and programs; as well as overseeing the functioning of Government's institutions.

"This is a big moment. We are blessed to have a prime minister who is only 44. It is time to work hard and I am sure he will deliver as this is an intelligent man who, as I have come to know him, also believes in the values of humbleness, is a listener, and other good values," he said.

Murekezi, who caused laughter when informing his successor and his new team that they are now obliged to declare their assets to his office, also informed his successor that he has to get right into work.

There is a lot to do, Murekezi advised, considering the numerous deliverables and reports expected in the upcoming National Dialogue (Umushyikirano), National Leadership Retreat, and other regular national activities and programmes.

Meanwhile, at the same function, the new Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Marie-Solange Kayisire, officially took over from her predecessor, Stella Ford Mugabo.

Kayisire as well thanked President Kagame for trusting her with her new duties and promised to carry on "the good work" Mugabo and her team have been doing.

On her part, Mugabo said "this was the greatest opportunity of my life" and a big lesson that she will always be grateful for.

"Not even a Harvard graduate can be better equipped in leadership skills, than me, after serving with Prime Minister Murekezi. We learnt a lot from him, including humility and so much more," Mugabo said.

Also present at the handover ceremony were officials, including Pichette Kampeta Sayinzoga, who was appointed Director-General of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency, and new Director of Cabinet, Odette Uwamariya.

Prior to her new appointment, Uwamariya was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government.

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