Cabinet approves SA, Nigeria envoys
The newly designated South African and Nigerian high commissioners are among six diplomats approved by cabinet yesterday to represent their respective countries in Rwanda.
George Nkosinati Twala, the new South African envoy, replaces Gladstone Dumisani Gwadiso, who was recalled by his government last August “for consultations”, according to Pretoria. The South African embassy in Kigali has, however, been operating.
The cabinet also endorsed Peter O.Ogidi-Oke as the new Nigerian high commissioner to Rwanda, becoming the first West African country’s envoy resident in Kigali. Previous Nigerian ambassadors to Rwanda were based in Kampala, Uganda.
The development follows last October’s announcement by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, during a state visit to Kigali, that his country would soon open an embassy in the Rwandan capital.
Last year, Rwanda opened its embassy in Nigeria, and appointed former Culture and Sports minister Joseph Habineza as the High Commissioner there.
Over the last few months, the two countries have sought to strengthen bilateral ties and promote mutual business interests, with investors and traders on either side showing interest in taking advantage of the new opportunities.
The country’s national carrier, RwandAir, recently opened direct flights to Nigeria, and the first Rwanda-Nigeria economic summit, dubbed ‘East Meets West”, is scheduled in Lagos State, which, according to the organisers, will highlight investment opportunities in agriculture, oil and gas, energy, financial services, ICT, among others.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also approved Leoni Magaretha Cuelenaere, the new Dutch ambassador to Rwanda, who replaces Frans Makken. She is resident in Kigali. Also endorsed was Anne Webster, the new Irish ambassador, who will be based in Kampala, Uganda, as well as ambassadors Flossie Asekanao Gomile Chidyaonga and Judith M.K.K Kangoma Kapijimpanga for Malawi and Zambia, respectively. Both are resident in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The cabinet also accepted the appointment of UNDP Resident Representative and One UN Rwanda Coordinator, Lamin Maneh, who replaces Aurelien Agbenonci.
Furthermore, The meeting appointed Yamina Karitanyi as the country’s new high commissioner to Kenya, succeeding William Kayonga, now Permanent Secretary in the ministry in charge of the East African Community affairs.
Also appointed were Rwanda’s Honorary Consulars; Dr Friedmann Greiner (Bavaria, Germany); John F. Lemieux (Montreal, Canada) and Joseph Callistus Etherled Alles (Sri Lanka).
The cabinet further approved the medium-term budget framework paper for 2012/13 – 2014/15, as well as the state draft budget law for the fiscal year 2012-13.
The meeting also resolved that the government privatizes 55 per cent and 60 per cent shares of its shares in Mulindi and Shagasha tea factories, respectively, to Rwanda Tea Investments Ltd.
It also resolved that Murambi, Nyamata, Gisozi and Bisesero Genocide memorials be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The UN programme seeks to “catalogue and preserve sites of outstanding importance, either cultural or natural, to the common heritage of humankind.”