Rwanda’s Mushikiwabo targets French speakers’ seat

Thursday July 12 2018

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister and government spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo.

Rwandan Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo submits her bid to seek the secretary-general post for the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to Madagascar’s President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the OIF acting president. PHOTO | RIVONALA RAZAFISON | NMG 

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Rwanda’s Foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo is seeking to succeed Canadian Michaelle Jean as secretary-general of the Organisation of French Speaking countries (OIF).

Ms Mushikiwabo has consequently filed her papers with Madagascar’s President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the OIF acting president.

She arrived in Madagascar on Wednesday afternoon and proceeded to hold a meeting with President Rajaonarimampianina at the State House of Iavoloha in Antananarivo.

Ms Mushikiwabo stated at the end of her meeting with President Rajaonarimampianina that her candidacy was endorsed by both ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Assembly of the Heads of State in Nouakchott, Mauritania from June 25 to July 2.

The Rwandan minister last month launched her campaign for the OIF seat, despite her country's decision to prioritise English as an official language a decade ago.

Ms Mushikiwabo, 57, has been touring Africa to seek backing for her bid to lead the world association of French-speaking nations.


The current holder's mandate expires in October.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a move likely to strengthen ties with Kigali, has backed the Rwandan candidacy.

In Antananarivo, President Rajaonarimampianina and Ms Mushikiwabo also discussed the bilateral ties between Madagascar and Rwanda.

Ms Mushikiwabo conveyed to the Malagasy leader a personal message from his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame.

The possibility of national carrier RwandAir serving the Antananarivo route was also discussed.

The two leaders also discussed cooperation in the area of ICT in Madagascar's next election.