Louise Mushikiwabo is the next Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).
Mushikiwabo clinched victory over incumbent Jean Michaëlle, a Canadian of Haitian origin, the election took place in Yerevan, Armenia on Friday.
Jean Michaëlle was recently denied candidacy endorsement by his own country.
Mushikiwabo was favourite after months on the campaign trail which has seen her visit over 22 countries as well as feature in international gatherings.
Most notably, she received a unanimous endorsement from the African Union, during the last AU summit held in July in Mauritania, which assures her of 29 votes from the bloc.
There were 54 countries with eligible votes.
Mushikiwabo was notably campaigned in Madagascar, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Senegal, Cameroon, Mauritania (during AU Summit), Guinea, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, Armenia, Lebanon and Tunisia.
Her campaign agenda, among other things, includes a promise to improve the relevance of the organisation to make it more visible and relevant on the global stage.
Mushikiwabo was also promising to play a role in addressing youth unemployment in the francophone countries, a challenge which has led to consequences such as mass migration, terrorism and radicalization.
Her agenda also includes increasing exchange of good practices within the francophone members.
French President, Emmanuel Macron, had earlier in May this year endorsed Mushikiwabo for the job, saying that she meets all qualities.
Mushikiwabo mandate will include steering the 84-member organisation towards its objectives to promoting French language and cultural and linguistic diversity, promote peace, democracy and human rights and supporting education, training, higher education and scientific research.
OIF was created in 1970 to promote the French language, peace, and sustainable development in member states.
Louise Mushikiwabo was born 22 May 1961, is a Rwandan politician who has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation since 2009, She also serves as Government Spokesperson. She was previously Minister of Information.
After completing primary and secondary school in Kigali, Mushikiwabo went to study at the National University of Rwanda currently University of Rwanda, She graduated from university in 1984, with a bachelor’s degree in English, and then worked briefly as a secondary school teacher.
In 1986, she emigrated from Rwanda to the United States of America where she began studying for a master’s degree in Languages and Interpretation at the University of Delaware, with French as her specialist language.
Upon finishing her studies in 1988, she remained in the United States, settling in the Washington, DC, area. She started her career working for lobbying organisations, before taking a position with the African Development Bank (ADB); as part of her role with the ADB she lived in Tunisia for a short time, and eventually became the bank’s Communications Director.
In March 2008, Mushikiwabo was invited by Rwandan President Paul Kagame to return to her homeland Rwanda and take up a position in his government. She was appointed to the post of Minister of Information.
The Express News