End last week, Rwanda’s former envoy to the Nordic countries, Christine Nkulikiyinka was given a new assignment as CEO of the Rwanda Cooperation Initiative, a public company mulled about four years ago to manage (marketing and commercialization) the country’s home grown solutions. Nkulikiyinka who served as Rwanda’s diplomat for the past 12 years tweeted “with a deep sense of gratitude” thanking President Paul Kagame who entrusted her with new responsibilities. Formerly Rwanda’s ambassador to Germany, Nkurikiyinka, who studied in the same European country is a marketing and human resources management expert. In an interview with The New Times, she said she valued the new assignment as a renewed opportunity to continue serving “our nation and people” and noted that she will dedicate all her energy and enthusiasm to the new office. Asked what her plan is, Nkulikiyinka told The New Times that: “Guided by the ideas and principles that led to the creation of the RCI and leveraging my diplomatic background, I intend to build on the achievements made so far and; one, promote and strengthen the south-south cooperation which, I am convinced, represents an immense opportunity.” “We can do even more through highlighting the fact that our home grown solutions are really game changers, particularly due to the fact that they are rooted in our culture! In the process, exchanging on best practices is key.” Secondly, she said, she intends to win new partners in different fields, as “another priority on my agenda,” as well as deepening good collaboration with all stakeholders. The latter, she noted, “will be of great importance in our work!” Nkulikiyinka is scheduled to officially start work after a handover ceremony scheduled for Friday, March 11. The RCI is a public company under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community in close collaboration with the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, that will manage (marketing and commercialization) the country’s home grown solutions. It was established by the Government to manage the exchanges of ideas and experiences with other countries in the interest of South to South Cooperation (SSC). It was created with a vision to become a global gateway for knowledge exchange on development. Last August, Rosine Urujeni, the then acting CEO, said there is a growing interest in South-South Cooperation. She said: “Developing countries from the Global South that have similar contexts and development challenges can really learn from each other, and take inspiration from each other’s successes to fashion tools to transform nations, especially through regional and interregional collective actions. That is why Rwanda, for example, is working with the Central African Republic and Mozambique on solutions to matters of security and development.” South to South Cooperation is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology, and knowledge between developing countries, also known as countries of the Global South. It is about developing countries working together to find solutions to common development challenges. Despite still being a developing low-income country, after the devastating 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Rwanda made tremendous advances across many socio-economic development indicators such as health, poverty reduction, education, economic growth. The policies behind this growth are not unique to Rwanda but the country set itself apart with its ability to use limited resources to overcome development challenges, all being made possible through a search for homegrown responses to Rwanda’s challenges. The values of ownership and accountability were consistently applied throughout the country’s transformation trajectory. More about Nkulikiyinka Nkulikiyinka served as Rwanda’s envoy to the Nordic Countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – from July 2015 to September 2021. She was concurrently accredited to the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation (2011-2013), Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Romania. Prior to moving to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, she served as Rwanda’s Ambassador to Germany from July 2009 to July 2015. A career diplomat, she served in other senior positions within the Embassy of Rwanda in Germany as well as in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She holds a degree from the University of Applied Sciences in Ludwigshafen-Germany. Owing to decades-long international experience, combined with her passion for languages, she is proficient in Kinyarwanda, English, French, and German. She also has basic knowledge in Kiswahili and Swedish. Besides diplomacy, Nkulikiyinka dedicates considerable time to mentoring youths and is active in several charities with particular focus on women empowerment.