Rwanda Swaps Central Bank, Finance Chiefs to Accelerate Agenda

Rwandan President Paul Kagame swapped his finance minister and central bank governor to help accelerate his plan to develop the East African nation’s economy, Cabinet Affairs Minister Protais Musoni said.

Finance Minister John Rwangombwa will become head of the National Bank of Rwanda, whose governor, Claver Gatete, will take over the Treasury portfolio, the Rwandan presidency said in a statement e-mailed today from the capital, Kigali. He also appointed ministers in the infrastructure, refugee and disaster management, and family and gender promotion departments.

“The president can change his team to speed-up his agenda,” Musoni said in a phone interview.

Kagame, who has been president of Rwanda since 2000, plans to transform the tea- and coffee-growing country into a middle-income economy by 2020 and is targeting annual economic growth of 7 percent. The plan includes lifting all Rwandans out of poverty by 2017, developing infrastructure such as transport links and energy supplies, and promoting regional integration.

The new ministers should “bring their unique abilities to their jobs,” Kagame told lawmakers in Kigali today.

Rwanda’s economy, which is still recovering from a 1994 genocide in which about 800,000 died, doubled in size in the nine years through 2010, according to the World Bank.

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