Louise Mushikiwabo begins work at OIF

Mushikiwabo. File.

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s former Foreign affairs minister, this week assumed office as head of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), an organisation that brings together 88 countries with a combined population of over 300 million.

She was unanimously elected in October last year during an OIF summit held in Yerevan, Armenia, resoundingly beating her opponent, the incumbent Michaelle Jean from Canada.

During a behind-door hand-over ceremony at OIF’s Paris office, Jean handed over the instruments of power before OIF employees.

“We will work in a spirit of solidarity and permanent dialogue in order to fulfill adequately priorities set out by our Heads of State and Government,” Mushikiwabo said in a statement.

“I am eager to put my experience and will at the service of our Francophonie”.

France, which threw its weight behind Mushikiwabo’s candidacy early in the race, reiterated its support saying they were “convinced” she would give the OIF “a new drive, an important ingredient in spreading the French language and francophone values in the quest for peace, democracy, human rights and gender equality.