24 October 2018

Rwanda: Sezibera Assumes Office as Minister of Foreign Affairs

Photo: New Times
The women in Paul Kagame's new Cabinet.

Richard Sezibera has officially assumed office as Rwanda's Foreign Minister, taking over from Louise Mushikiwabo, who is set to head to Paris, France as the Secretary General of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie--a grouping of countries where French is customary language.

Mushikiwabo handed over to Sezibera on Wednesday morning, at the Ministry's headquarters in Kimihurura.

"I want to thank Mushikiwabo for leading Rwandan diplomacy to greater success. There are many Foreign Affairs Ministers across the world, but you will not find as many who will do as much for their country as Louise Mushikiwabo has done," Sezibera said.

Sezibera was appointed to lead Rwanda's diplomacy on Thursday last week--a task he says he is very familiar with following stints as the Secretary General of the East African Community, Rwanda's Ambassador to the USA and President Paul Kagame's Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region.

Sezibera, a medical doctor, has also previously served as the Minister of Health.

Before his appointment, he was a Senator, representing the Southern Province. He is a long serving member of the GAVI Board and current Chair of the GAVI Programme and Policy Committee.

"Rwandan diplomacy is on a different phase. I have no doubt that wherever you are going, we will continue to work together to serve our country," he told his predecessor at a handover.

Mushikiwabo was unanimously elected as the Secretary Genocide of OIF two weeks ago.

She takes over from Canadian Michaëlle Jean who has held the position for the last four years.

"Usually, I don't like moments like this; saying goodbye or moving to a different place. But I can assure you, you are in good hands," an emotional Mushikiwabo told the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The new ministers, she said, form a very good team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda.

Mushikiwabo is expected to take over the office of at the Paris-based OIF in January.

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