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by Daniel Sabiiti
12:22 pm

Clockwise: Christophe Bazivamo, Oda Gasinzigwa, Concorde Nsengumuremyi, Umwari Carine and Alexandre Rutikanga

The Rwanda Senate has approved the appointment of five officials but tasked them to use their academic qualifications to be agents of change in their duties.

Approved were Dr. Alexandre Rutikanga and Dr. Concorde Nsengumuremyi as Director General at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) and Director General of the Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA) respectively.

Others were Oda Gasinzigwa, the new chairperson of National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Carine Umwari,  Commissioners at NEC.

Rutikanga served several institutions of higher education including the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science of University of Rwanda.

Alexandre Rutikanga

Rutikanga is replacing Patrick Karangwa who has been at the helm of RAB since January 23,2018 and recently appointed Director General of Agriculture Modernisation at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resource (Minagri).

Dr. Nsengumuremyi has been serving as Deputy Principal in charge of Academics and training at IPRC Kitabi since October 2021.

The Chairperson of the Senate Committee on economy and finance, Juvenal Nkusi said that they are both academicians but they have experience in their fields and thus confident that they can use this background to make changes needed.

The RAB boss was tasked to improve Girinka program and cattle rearing in general as a fact that there is high demand and potentiality in meat and fish business.

RAB has for over eight years been in bad books with the Office of the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over lack of proper senior management, human resources, finances.

They were also blamed over unused buildings located all over the country and failure to implement Girinka (one cow per poor family) Program and irrigation projects among others.

Dr. Concorde Nsengumuremyi

The Forestry Agency boss was tasked to do more research on forestry, planting natural trees, use tech in harvesting and improve relations between Kitabi and University of Rwanda, but also start production of products from trees and fight soil erosion.

Rwanda plans to become a green country and has committed to curb climate change and cutting on carbon emissions through different strategies including plant trees.

Today, 30.4% of Rwanda’s surface area is covered by forests, and to further a fight against climate change effects, and two million hectares of land under restoration by 2030 through the Bonn Challenge.

“We propose that they are approved for the respective positions,” the committee chairperson said.

“The two are able and qualified but they are among a few in Rwanda and thus they need to pass on the knowledge to others, especially Dr. Rutikanga and one more in the country,”.

Sen. George Mupenzi said that these agencies have a bad history and the turnover of leadership has been every time and some didn’t spend more than six months yet on appointment they were so excited about the job.

“We want to know if they have the courage to work with others, especially at RAB where we see issues of poor resource and finance management. We only have them telling us that they are qualified but we don’t see if they are ready to perform,” Mupenzi said.

The Committee said that the former RAB DG was also the Chief Budget Manager who had to do both jobs but now the agency has a budget officer and they will have enough time to concentrate on the administrative aspects.

Ex Ministers Bazivamo, Gasinzigwa

The Senate also approved Oda Gasinzigwa as Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission(NEC) and Carine Umwari as one of the Commissioners, which makes the former officially the first woman to lead the Commission

Oda Gasinzigwa, a former Chief at GMO Rwanda and Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, and recently served the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) fourth assembly (2017- 2022) representing Rwanda.

She replaces Late Professor Kalisa Mbanda who passed on this January 13, 20223.

Oda Gasinzigwa

Gasinzigwa said that her priority will be on civic education and working with other institutions especially in educating the young ones in schools and families, not only during election periods.

Carine Umwari, a lawyer by qualification was also approved as a NEC Commissioner, has been in the political parties’ forum and believed she was in position to handle the advisory at the electoral commission.

Umwari said she will emphasize on youth engagement in elections and use of the local media to increase awareness.

The Commission said that approving the two women will enhance the gender equality principle where 86% women will be at the top leadership of the NEC.

Christophe Bazivamo

Christophe Bazivamo, a former Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors at East African Community(EAC), served five years at EALA and eight years as Minister of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water, and Mines, Local Government, Internal Security was approved as Rwanda’s High Commissioner to United Republic of Nigeria.

Bazivamo said he will focus on improving the relationship between the two countries encouraging investment opportunities but also increase health tourism and engaging the Diaspora participation in fighting genocide negation.

Senate tasked Bazivamo, who will also represent Rwanda in Benin, to establish an umbrella association of Genocide against the Tutsi survivor organization (IBUKA) in Nigeria since there is only one association (in Senegal) in the whole of West Africa.

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