President Paul Kagame on Thursday reshuffled the cabinet, making broad and major changes in a trimmed cabinet, in which women comprise 50 per cent.
The members of cabinet have also reduced from 31 down to 26.
Several long serving members of the cabinet were replaced while a number of youthful ministers joined the national executive.
Soon after Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente put out the list of the new cabinet, social media, mainly Twitter users, were quick to respond, with many, especially local commentators, saying that some new appointments caught them off-guard.
Dr. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, noted that with women holding 50 per cent of new cabinet portfolios, it is a testament that Rwanda is deliberate on staying true to gender equality.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, commended Rwanda and Ethiopia as the only two countries in Africa now with men and women having equal share of the cabinet seats.
#Rwanda continues to lead on gender parity in ministerial + parliamentary appointments, closely followed by #Ethiopia.The momentum to recognise men+women as equal in politics is vital as we work towards #TheAfricaWeWant.Congratulations to the people and govts of Rwanda+Ethiopia !— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) October 18, 2018
Nshuti Lucy Mbabazi, a renowned female ICT enthusiast, noted that it was a proud moment form girls in ICT after youthful Paula Ingabire was appointed Minister for ICT and Innovation, and equally young Claudette Irere as the new Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation
Hearty Congratulations Paula Musoni and @ClaudetteIrere. To say I’m proud of you would be an understatement. Now #Rwanda gets to SEE your beauty and light??????— Nshuti Mbabazi (@LucyMbabazi) October 18, 2018
We at @GirlsInICTRW are happy and proud of you.
Congratulations from all of us??
Julienne Uwacu, the outgoing Minister of Sports and Culture, took on twitter to thank President Kagame for trusting her to serve.
Uwacu has been replaced by Espérance Nyirasafari who has been the minister of Gender and Family Promotion where Solina Nyirahabimana is now the new minister.
She pledged to “continue serving the country wherever I will be with all my capacity.”
Ndabashimiye Nyakubahwa Perezida wa Repuburika @PaulKagame ku cyizere n’amahirwe mwampaye yo gukorera igihugu ndi umwe mubagize guverinoma muri iyi myaka ishize. Ndabizeza gukomeza gukorera igihugu cyacu aho nzaba ndi hose mu bushobozi bwanjye.— Julienne Uwacu (@JUwacu) October 19, 2018
Johnston Busingye, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, who retained his position, said that he was “humbled and grateful to President Kagame for the continued trust and confidence.”
Humbled and grateful to @PaulKagame for the continued trust and confidence. On my behalf and that of colleagues in leadership of the institutions in the Justice sector, and all our FORMIDABLE STAFF, we pledge to deliver to our best ability.— Busingye Johnston (@BusingyeJohns) October 19, 2018
Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, the outgoing Minister of Information Technology and Communications, who was appointed last year, was among those who did not make it to the new line up.
The new cabinet will be sworn in Friday evening at parliament.Follow https://twitter.com/AthanTashobya