7 December 2017

Rwanda: Who Are the New Cabinet Ministers?

President Paul Kagame yesterday appointed two new ministers in the education and Information Technology and Communications (ICT) portifolios, according to a statement signed by Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente.

Dr Eugene Mutimura was appointed as the new minister of Education, replacing Papias Musafiri, while Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa is the new Minister for ICT replacing Jean Philbert Nsengimana.

Prior to yesterday's appointment, Dr Mutimura was the African Centers of Excellence project coordinator based in Kampala, Uganda.

The project is an initiative by the Interuniversity Council of East Africa and the World Bank to establish regional education and research centres in specific topics.

This is with an aim to strengthen long-term African capacity to train at the highest level a new generation of Africans who can develop and apply science and technology to solve Africa's most pressing challenges.

Mutimura has also previously worked at the Regional Alliance for Sustainable Development.

New ICT minister Rurangirwa, 44, was previously project coordinator for Integrated Financial Management Information and System (IFMIS), at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

IFMIS serves to manage government finances, budget, commitments control, treasury management, cash management, accounts payables, tax and non-tax revenues, accounts receivables and a centralised general ledger system.

According to his resume, Rurangirwa also serves as a consultant at the International Monetary Fund as an advisor focusing on public sector financial management processes.

He has also previously worked as IT director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

Musafiri was appointed minister in June 2015 after previously serving as the principal of the University of Rwanda's College of Business and Economics.

Nsengimana was appointed minister of Youth and ICT in April 2012, before the ministry was split into two.

Before that, he served as the country director of Voxiva, a mobile health and wellness company.

Other new appointments announced yesterday were Olivier Kayumba as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, while Francis Musoni was appointed the Secretary General of Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC).

Speaking to The New Times last evening, the new ICT minister thanked the president for the appointment, promising he would bring his rich experience in the ICT sector to the ministry.

"I would like to thank the appointing authority for the trust and opportunity to serve. I have been in the ICT sector for the last 15 years in various capacities and I hope to bring in my experience and willingness to serve the country. The 7 year government's strategy is quite clear and I will work to implement it," he said.

Dr Mutimura, comes into office at a time when the government, is among other things, working to improve quality of higher learning institutions to meet targets of creating 1.5 million jobs over the next seven years.

The education sector is also mulling the uptake of technology to foster quality and increase access of learning in basic education through aspects such as smart classrooms.

Within the ICT sector, Rurangirwa will be expected to increase uptake of ICT across various sectors in the country, including finance, health, among others.

Rurangirwa will also be expected to see increased rollout of public services through ICT.

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