Dr Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda was on Saturday 6th February elected vice chairperson of the African Union Commission in an election that was topped by ladies.
The economist beat Uganda’s Professor Pamela Mbabazi Kasabiiti and Djibouti’s Hasna Barkat Daoud to become the first female vice chairperson of the Union. This is after four other contenders had been dropped from the race in the preliminary stages.
Dr Nsanzabaganwa polled a landslide 42 of the 55 votes cast while the Chairperson of Uganda’s National Planning Authority garnered 10 votes. Ms Daoud was in distant third with a meagre two votes.
Dr Nsanzabaganwa’s Profile
Born in 1971, Dr. Monique attended Rwandan schools before joining the National University of Rwanda graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. She later joined South Africa’s Stellenbosch University to do a Master of Arts in economics, before attaining a Doctorate in economics. After her studies, she returned to her native Rwanda, a move that saw her lecturing economics at her alumni from 1999 to 2003.
In 2003, she was appointed as the Minister of State responsible for Economic Planning in the Rwandan Ministry Of Finance and Economic Planning, a position she served deligently up-to 2008. In this period she is credited with creating a stronger statistical and planning system nationally and local levels before leading a drive to establish the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda which she served as chaiperson of the board of directors since 2012. Her efforts were then rewarded with a promotion into the Rwandan Cabinet as Minister of Trade and Industry.
Additionally, she is a member of the African Leaders Network, a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa and a Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education in Public Financial Management.
Meanwhile, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat from Chad was re-elected chairperson of the African Union Commission for another four-year term after garnering 51 votes of the possible 55 after running unopposed. He has held this position since 2017. In the same event, Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, HE Felix Tshisekedi was elected the new AU chairperson for 2021 taking over from South Africa’s Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. In his acceptance speech, Tshisekedi said it was previlege for his country to chair the Union before paying tribute to the mineral-rich nations founding father Mr Patrice Émery Lumumba for his efforts in the great Pan Africanism movement.