The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General, Pascal Lamy, has announced that he will retain Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza as his deputy.
Rugwabiza joined WTO in 2005 and has been retained for another four years. She is the first woman ever appointed as a Deputy Director-General of the body.
She and three other Deputy Directors General including Alejandro Jara of Chile, Harsha Singh of India and Rufus Yerxa of the United States are expected to begin their new terms on October 1.
Lamy told a meeting of the WTO’s General Council that: “during the last four years this strong team has served the organisation and its members with dedication and vision.”
“Together, we have worked to advance the interests of the multilateral trading system. As we prepare to move into the last phase of the Doha Roundtable, I believe I must privilege experience and safeguard continuity.”
Before joining WTO, Rugwabiza was a senior official at the Rwandan Embassy in Switzerland. She also served as Rwanda’s Ambassador to the WTO since 2002.
She is a founding member of the Private Sector Federation of Rwanda, Rwanda Women Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Rwandese Women Leaders’ Caucus. She has been Coordinator of the African Group in the WTO.
Rugwabiza is one of the two Ambassadors representing the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the Integrated Framework Working Group. She initiated the Integrated Framework in Rwanda.