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AfricaMoney | August 23, 2017

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WTO’s Rugwabiza now CEO of Rwanda Development Board

WTO’s Rugwabiza now CEO of Rwanda Development Board

Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza, former deputy director-general of the World Trade Organisation, is now the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (Source: www.flickr.com)

A former deputy director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Valentine Sendanyoye Rugwabiza has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) by the cabinet.

She has also been appointed a member of the cabinet, according to an official statement.

Most recently, Rugwabiza was one of the four directors-general who served under WTO director-general Pascal Lamy from October 2005 to September 2013.

At WTO, Rugwabiza was mainly looking at development issues and policies generally; trade policy review; trade facilitation, and training and technical cooperation.  She was also responsible for the WTO work programme on Aid for Trade.

Prior to her stint at the WTO, she served for three years as Ambassador of Rwanda to the United Nations in Geneva and Switzerland.

Before joining public service, Rugwabiza had a long career in the private sector, at both national and international levels, where she occupied several senior management positions, including in a Swiss multinational where she worked for eight years.

Rugwabiza was a member of the economic and social Council of the President of Rwanda, a founding member of the Rwandan Women’s Caucus, the association of women entrepreneurs, and the Rwandese federation of the private sector.

In May, Jeune Afrique magazine named both Rugwabiza and Clare Akamanzi – the Chief Operations Officer of the RDB – among the 25 most influential women in business on the African continent.

Till the announcement of Rugwabiza at the helm, Akamanzi was acting CEO of RDB, a position she has held since June 2012 when former RDB CEO John Gara moved to chair the National Legal Reform Commission.

The RDB has advisory and hands-on support from global entrepreneurs and experts from Singapore Development Board, World Bank and IFC. It was set up by bringing together all government agencies across the entire investor experience spectrum under one roof. And, the merger has worked well, resulting in a one-stop-centre offering enhanced service delivery to prospective investors.

Most recently, the WEF’s Global Competitiveness index 2013-14 ranked Rwanda third in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, the World Bank’s Doing Business in East Africa 2013 report saw Rwanda coming second globally as a Doing Business reformer, and highlighted that the East African powerhouse had ‘made the greatest progress in improving its business environment between 2005 and 2012’.

(Source: RDB, WTO)

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