There is a lot awaiting the new Sports Minister, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, a position she assumes following a recent cabinet reshuffle by President Paul Kagame, which also saw the culture docket moved to the Ministry of Youth.
She replaces Esperence Nyirasafari, who is now in the Senate where she was recently elected as vice-president in charge of legislation and government oversight.
In September, Rwanda formally applied to host the UCI World Championships 2025, a bid that would see Rwanda become the first African country to host the world’s biggest cycling event.
During a handover ceremony – held at Kigali Arena on Friday – with the former Chief Executive at Sonarwa Life Assurance Company Ltd , Nyirasafari, who hailed the progress so far made in Rwanda’s Cycling, said she believed that chances of winning the hosting rights are high given that Rwanda received a vote of confidence from UCI president David Lappartient in the bid.
Nyirasafari called on the new Minister to closely work with the cycling federation to ensure the bid is won and – once it is won – start preparations earlier.
“Remember it would be the very first time an African nation would be hosting such a big cycling competition, and particularly it would be a big win for our country if we win the bid. I find it fitting if this bid is put among the ministry’s top priorities,” said the outgoing Minister.
The new Sports Minister will also have a big task to attend to talent detection and development programmes, which the Ministry for Sports closely work on with the Ministry for Education (Mineduc) under the movement ‘because the majority of talents are in schools’.
“Mineduc plays a commendable role in boosting sports development in all disciplines. I would like to request my successor to closely work with them in talent development and youth programmes, which are at the heart of the future of this sector,” she further noted.
Senator Nyirasafari also encouraged Minister Munyangaju to make the most of sports infrastructure being established, like Kigali Arena and other facilities across the country.
In her brief remarks, the new Sports Minister said, “Everything is possible and will be achieved through commitment, teamwork and good collaboration with sports federations.”