When Louise Mushikiwabo was first fronted - in the diplomatic corridors of member countries of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie – as the possible next Secretary General of the organisation, the writing was already on the wall for the incumbent, Michaelle Jean of Canada.
She had been a compromise candidate a few years before when Africa failed to come up with a single candidate. But there were deep divisions as everyone was pulling their way. Even though Jean hardly made any footprints worth remembering at OIF, just a penchant – it is alleged – for exorbitance. She had to go.
When the whole African continent rallied behind Mushikiwabo, the die was already cast but Jean blindly trudged on. Even last-minute media onslaught on Mushikiwabo’s candidacy and Rwanda by default could not stop the juggernaut.
Jean came close to turning out to be a hysterical sore loser when her own Canada, and her town Quebec, threw their lot behind the Rwandan candidate. Well, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Mushikiwabo aims to bring back the spring in OIF’s walk as well as its relevancy. Two of her campaign flagships were; creating jobs for the youth and exchanging best practices among member states.
Her smooth campaigns for OIF’s top post, as well as her decade-old diplomatic service to her country, should be enough to infuse some confidence in the OIF family; that they have the right person at the helm who is there to serve the organisation wholeheartedly.
Those who unanimously ushered her into office also seem to share that view, but their service should go beyond just casting their votes. Mushikiwabo will need their unfettered attention and support in order to bring her plans to fruition. As they say: “No man (woman?) is an island. Wishing all the best to OIF’s “sister”.