Rwanda Replaces Infrastructure Minister in Cabinet Reshuffle

Rwanda named new infrastructure and natural resources ministers in a cabinet reorganization President Paul Kagame said was aimed at bolstering his development agenda to become a middle-income economy by 2020.

Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi announced the changes following his swearing-in ceremony today in the capital, Kigali, the government said in an e-mailed statement. Kagame this week announced he appointed Murekezi, the former minister of public service and labor, to replace Pierre Habumuremyi.

“The reshuffle is aimed at energizing the working force and bringing in new blood to consolidate what has been done and also do much better in bringing development and prosperity to the country,” Kagame said today at the ceremony.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of a genocide in the East African nation that left dead more than 800,000 mainly Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a 100-day slaughter. The economy is making progress as the government attracts investments for infrastructure, introduces reforms to make it easier to do business and last year raised $400 million in the country’s debut Eurobond sale, the first such offer in East Africa.

The economy is forecast by the International Monetary Fund to expand by 7.5 percent this year and 2015.

Vincent Biruta was named minister of natural resources, moving from the education portfolio, while James Musoni succeeded Silas Lwakabamba as the minister of infrastructure. Lwakabamba now leads the education ministry.

Francis Gatare, a former secretary in the presidency, took over as chief executive officer of the state investment agency, Rwanda Development Board, from Valentine Rugwabiza, who became the minister for the East African Community.

Habumuremyi, a former education minister who had served as prime minister since October 2011, became Rwanda’s high commissioner to neighboring Burundi with immediate effect.

“I commit to upholding the dignity of all Rwandans and continuing on the path to self-reliance,” Murekezi said today during the ceremony.

Rwandan Finance and Economic Planning Minister Claver Gatete retained his position.

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