Who is Mushikiwabo?

Louise Mushikiwabo will serve as the Secretary-General of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) over a four-year term before the next election in 2022.

She will be eligible to stand for another term.

As the new SG, she will be based in Paris, France where the institution has its headquarters. This is however not the first international posting of Mushikiwabo.

Below is a profile of the new OIF boss.

Birth: Mushikiwabo was born in 1961 near Kigali of parents she describes as “from the generation of independence”.

Education: Mushikiwabo attended primary and secondary school in Kigali before joining the National University of Rwanda (currently University of Rwanda) in 1981 studying a bachelor's degree in English.

She graduated in in 1984 taking on a job as a high school teacher for about two years.

She then moved to the United States in 1986 for further studies where she enrolled for a master's degree in Languages and Interpretation at the University of Delaware, specializing in French.

Career: On graduation, Mushikiwabo in 1988, continued to work in the United States in multiple capacities for about 20 years before moving to Tunisia to join the African Development Bank where she served in various capacities including as Communications Director.

Rwanda Government: In March 2008, she was invited by President Paul Kagame to join the government team as the Minister of Information before later becoming Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2009.

While serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, she has made significant contributions during Rwanda’s turn at the UN Security Council between 2013 and 2014 in aspects such as conflict resolution. She was also involved in the ongoing African Union reforms

It was during her time as Foreign Affairs Minister that she expressed interest or the position.

Publications: In 2016, she co-authored a book "Rwanda Means the Universe", an intergenerational and autobiographical socio-historical memoir. The book largely focused on the subject of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

She has also published numerous articles in print and digital media.

Awards and recognition: Mushikiwabo is a recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Humanitarian Award from the American University and School of International Studies.

In May this year, Jeune Afrique – a reputable French news magazine listed her as one of the most influential African personalities on the continent.

Additional information from Louise Mushikiwabo biography.