A cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday appointed Dr. Emile Bienvenu, the new Director General of Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (Rwanda FDA), replacing Dr. Charles Karangwa, who has been acting in the position since July 2018.
Dr. Bienvenu, who until his appointment was a senior lecturer of pharmacology and therapeutics at University of Rwanda (UR), takes over at Rwanda FDA at a time Rwanda is looking to venture into vaccine and drug manufacturing, which is his forte.
His appointment coincided with the briefing the cabinet was given by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) on a collaboration agreement it has entered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), for the development of a vaccine manufacturing plant in Rwanda.
Dr. Bienvenu holds a Master’s degree (Pharmacology) from University of the Western Cape in South Africa, and a PhD (Medical Science) from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in the area of Clinical Pharmacology. According to his profile, he combines research, academic and managerial skills.
The trained pharmacist was a Senior Lecturer at UR, College of Medicine and Health Sciences. He has also been serving as the University Director for Innovation since 201 and as Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research.
Previously at National University of Rwanda where he served as Lecturer, he was the Executive Secretary for the University Research Office for six years (2002 to 2008). Dr. Bienvenu also served as External Examiner at Muhimbili University of Health & Allied Sciences in Tanzania until 2016.
From July 2011 until May 2013 he was the Head of Medical Procurement Division at Rwanda Biomedical Center. From 2009 to 2020, Dr. Bienvenu was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rwanda Standards Board (RSB), of which he has been a Member since 2002. He also served as Member of the Board of Directors at Rwanda Military Hospital (2012-2018).
He has done research on therapy optimization based on pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenetic considerations, especially for HIV and TB co-infection. He is the Country Principal Investigator of a 5-year EU/EDCTP funded research project (2018-2023) focusing on Pharmacovigilance in East Africa.
According to his bio, he has supervised and graduated a number of PhD students and has authored a number of papers in peer-reviewed international Journals over the past decade. He is a Reviewer for a number of peer reviewed Journals.
Dr Bienvenu is also an expert for hospital Drug and Therapeutic Committees (DTCs). He provided technical assistance as a resource person to the Ministry of Health in Rwanda (2006) in formulating the first editions of the Standard Treatment Guidelines and Drug Formulary.
Dr. Bienvenu combines his pharmacology research with commitments in innovation and entrepreneurship. He completed a research attachment at McGill University in Canada (2008), where he contributed to the project “The alternative modeling of Intellectual Property Systems in biotechnology innovation”.
Currently, he is the Country Principal Researcher for “StArfrica – Startup Germany-Africa”, a 4-year German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs funded project (2020-2024) (https://userpages.uni-koblenz.de/~niklasrichter/).