Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs is the new Secretary General for the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).
Mushikiwabo was elected to the prestigious position on the last day of the Yerevan Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), a body that brings together 84 French speaking states.
Rwanda’s top diplomat was facing competition from Canada’s Michaëlle Jean, who has held the post of Secretary General for the past four years.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashnyan congratulated the newly elected Secretary General and reiterated the support for Francophone countries.
For many, Mushikiwabo’s victory did not come as surprising especially since many of the members that matter had backed her. This included France itself.
French President, Emmanuel Macron had previously declared his support for Mushikiwabo saying she had “every quality for the job”.
Mushikiwabo, 57, a multilingual seasoned politician and diplomat has served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Rwanda for almost a decade. She doubles as spokesperson for Rwanda’s government.
Formed in 1970, the OIF represents countries and regions where French is an official or customary language, where a significant proportion of the population are francophones (French speakers), or where there is a notable affiliation with French culture.
As Secretary General of the Francophonie, Mushikiwabo will serve as the spokesperson and the official representative internationally of the political actions of the Francophonie.
She will as well be responsible for proposing priority areas for multilateral Francophonie actions and to facilitate Francophone multilateral cooperation and to ensure that programs and activities of all operating agencies work in harmony.
The Secretary General serves for a four-year term.
Mushikiwabo is now the third African to take on the leadership of the Francophonie. The others were Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt and Abdou Diouf of Senegal.