United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 23 February 2022 the appointment of Valentine Rugwabiza of Rwanda as his new Special Representative for the Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
Ms. Rugwabiza succeeds Mankeur Ndiaye of Senegal, who has led the Mission since 2019. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Ndiaye’s service to the people of the Central African Republic during a turbulent and critical period in its history. His leadership was instrumental in MINUSCA’s comprehensive support to the general elections held in 2020-2021.
Ms. Rugwabiza has worked for more than thirty years on Africa development and security issues in both the public and corporate sectors as a Cabinet Member, a senior diplomat of Rwanda accredited to several countries and organizations and a senior leader in national, regional and multilateral entities. From 2016, Ms. Rugwabiza has served as the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations and non-resident Ambassador of Rwanda to Colombia and Jamaica. From 2014 to 2016, she was the Minister of East African Community Affairs and a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly. From 2013 to 2014, she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board and Member of Cabinet.
From 2005 to 2013, Ms. Rugwabiza was the Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. Prior to that, she served as the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations Office in Geneva and United Nations specialized agencies, as well as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Rwanda to Switzerland, from 2002 to 2005.
Ms. Rugwabiza speaks English, French, Swahili and Kinyarwanda.