Who are the new faces in cabinet?

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday reshuffled his cabinet adding eight new faces to the team. The new cabinet members were Friday sworn in at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura.

But who are exactly the new entrants?



1.   Valentine Uwamariya – Minister for Education


Before her appointment as Minister for EducationUwamariya was Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Training, Institutional Development, and Research at Rwanda Polytechnic (RP), a position she had held November 2018. Previously, she worked as Dean of School of Science and a senior lecturer in Chemistry department at the University of Rwanda. Uwamariya acquired her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the former National University of Rwanda (1999), before obtaining her Msc degree in Chemistry from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa (2005). In 2013, she obtained her PhD from UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands in Environmental engineering and Water technology. She’s married with two children.

2.   Dr Daniel Ngamije – Minister for Health

Until Wednesday he was working with World Health Organization (WHO) Rwanda as National Programme Officer in charge of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. Before joining WHO, the physician and public health expert worked for 10 years in health financing resources mobilisation for the Ministry of Health and Rwanda Biomedical Centre. He boasts more than 23 years of experience cumulatively in different areas of health sector, including serving as a clinician, health district, health regional manager, and health projects manager.

3.    Jeanette Bayisenge – Minister for Gender and Family Promotion

Prior to her appointment, she was acting director and a senior lecturer at University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences’ Center for Gender Studies (where she had worked since May 2004). She also served as Chairperson, Gasabo District Council. Bayisenge has conducted research in a number of areas such as gender, development, and women and children’s rights, land rights, women and youth access to land and rural livelihoods, and land tenure regularisation. She holds a PhD in Social Work from University of Gothenburg, Sweden which she obtained in 2014, a Master’s degree in Development Cooperation with specialisation in Women and Development obtained from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul- South Korea (2009), and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the National University of Rwanda.

4.   Inès Mpambara – Minister in charge of Cabinet Affairs

Until her appointment on Wednesday, Mpambara had served as Director of Cabinet in the Office of the President for more than 10 years. She has also previously worked at the Ministry of Health where she held various positions. Prior to that she worked at the former National University of Rwanda where she served as a lecturer and director of the School of Journalism and Communication.

5.    Claudette Irere – Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Ministry of Education

One of the youngest members of cabinet, Irere was until Wednesday the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation. She takes up a position that has been reinstated as government moves to streamline and strengthen TVET as it lays out pillars of the country’s new development blueprint, Vision 2020. Irere, who co-founded FabLab Rwanda and once served as its general-manager, previously served as project manager at PSF-ICT Chamber, general-manager at Klab, and manager ICT projects at Transform Africa. She had been appointed PS, Ministry of ICT and Innovation in April 2017. Irere acquired her master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Oklahoma Christian University in 2013 a year after graduating from the former National University of Rwanda with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science in 2012.

6.    Gaspard Twagirayezu – Minister of State in charge of Primary and Secondary Education in the Ministry of Education

Prior to his appointment, Twagirayezu was working at the National Commission of Science and Technology (NCST) as Science and Technology Knowledge Transfer analyst. Before joining NCST in 2014 he had worked as coordinator of a science centre at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana District. He has also previously worked as a researcher (for energy resources) at NASA DEVELOP program, a Bridge program peer mentor, and a science teacher at Jesuit Rescue Service. Twagirayezu holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Management (2013) and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (2012), both from Oklahoma Christian University.

7.   Lt. Col. Dr Tharcisse Mpunga – Minister of State in charge of Primary Health Care in the Ministry of Health

Prior to his appointment, Dr Mpunga served as director-general of Butaro Hospital in Burera District, Northern Province. With 10 years of leadership experience, he has been involved in research related to cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in general, and in several activities related to improving health indicators in Rwanda. He holds a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology from the National University of Rwanda and a Master’s degree in Applied Epidemiology.

8.    Richard Tusabe – Minister of State in charge of National Treasury in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning

The first person to be appointed into this new ministerial role, Tusabe was until Wednesday director-general of Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB). Before moving to RSSB in October 2018, Tusabe had served as Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) since February 2014.  Prior to that he had served as RRA’s Deputy Commissioner General having previously worked at MTN Rwanda as the Chief Financial Officer. Tusabe holds an MBA in Strategic Planning from Edinburgh Business School and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He’s a full member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR).


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