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Rwanda President appoints new Development Board CEO

The former Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, was yesterday appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (

Rwanda President appoints new Development Board CEO

The former Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, was yesterday appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and in addition also made a member of the Rwandan cabinet.

Amb. Rugwabiza follows in the footsteps of the organization’s first CEO Joe Ritchie, under whose leadership the RDB, then a new umbrella organization in Rwanda for a range of former parastatals bodies united under one common structure, and his successor John Gara, who moved to a different function within government in June 2012 to oversee the National Legal Reform Commission. Joe Ritchie has since his departure from RDB become a key member of the Presidential Advisory Council for President Paul Kagame.

Claire Akamanzi, who has been holding fort until yesterday, returns to her full time position as Chief Operating Officer of RDB.

It is a warm welcome for Valentine to her new position, in which she is also the one ultimately overseeing the Tourism and Conservation Department, headed by Rica Rwigamba, which is tasked with not only wildlife conservation, research and surveillance – Rwanda has the lowest poaching numbers across the entire East African Community, but also for marketing the country abroad. Tourism has in recent years firmly established itself as the leading sector in the Rwandan economy for foreign exchange earnings and also attracted a range of international investments in the hotel sector, bringing such reputable names as Marriott Hotels to Kigali.

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