Jean-Paul Kimonyo, a Rwandan author, policy analyst, researcher has been appointed as regional director for the Levy Mwanawasa Centre for Democracy and Good Governance.
Based in Lusaka, the centre is an autonomous technical body established to assist in the implementation of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Programme of Action for Democracy and Good Governance.
Kimonyo has previously worked as a policy advisor in the Office of the President.
Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday, he attributed the new job to the support from President Paul Kagame for whom he has previously worked as an advisor.
"The LMRC is basically the think tank for the ICGLR and I have a long experience in that line of work. Democracy and Good Governance are complex issues be it in the region or elsewhere but as a Rwandan scholar and policymaker, I am used to complexity," he said.
He said that from the Rwanda experience one is able to learn and also look at challenges in their very specific context.
"In this case, it will be the regional context. I will do my best to extend to the LMRC the renewed interest in the ICGLR institution by member states, a new momentum brought about by the new regional leadership."
The body has a mission to oversee its activities in ICGLR member states; Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Who is Kimonyo?
Kimonyo has been the CEO of COGITO Consult Ltd, an independent body specialized in governance, conflict management and post-conflict policymaking since May 2020.
The institution was active since 2002 and conducted substantive missions in Rwanda, Burundi and Cote d'Ivoire.
Before heading the consultancy firm, Kimonyo worked in the Office of the President for eleven years, first as the head of the Strategy Policy Unity (SPU) and later as a senior advisor and focal point for NEPAD and APRM.
He has also been an author and researcher in conflict management and was among the founders of the Centre for Conflict Management (CCM) at the former National University of Rwanda.
In 2019, he published a book; Transforming Rwanda: Challenges on the Road to Reconstruction, which in great detail chronicles the country's journey towards transformation, spanning decades.
Kimonyo was also one of the commissioners on the Mucyo Commission which in 2008 published a report on the role of France in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Communication and Journalism from the Université Cheikh Anta DIOP de Dakar in Senegal and a Master's degree in the same area from the University of Montreal in Canada.
He also did a PhD in political science from the University of Quebec, also in Canada.
Tributes for the achievement
After his announcement, many people took to social media to congratulate the researcher for the new achievement.
They include Martin Ngoga, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly and Olivier Nduhungirehe, Rwanda's ambassador to the Kingdom of Netherlands, Wellars Gasamagera, the Rwandan ambassador to Angola, among others.
Yan Gwett, a Communications lecturer at the University of Rwanda also said, "Congratulations JP& all the best! The LMRC is lucky to have one of the most original thinkers on democracy on this continent at its helm."