The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo has started to campaign for the leadership of the international organization representing French speaking countries, La Francophonie (OIF).
Mushikiwabo confirmed recently to Jeune Afrique that she is campaigning for the position and added that she is confident.
“I am now campaigning,” she said adding that she is confidentof getting African member states’ support for her candidacy.
Asked about her priority, Mushikiwabo said that the organization needs a face lift. “The La Francophonie should move towards being multilingual,” she said.
Mushikiwabo said that La Francophonie is one of international interstate lobbying groups that discuss policy issues,” she said.
The elections for OIF Secretary General will take place in October in the organisation’s General Assemby that will take place in Yerevan, Armenia.
Last Month when President Paul Kagame was visiting France, he emphasized the interest of Rwanda in leading the organization. His France counterpart Emmanuel Macron also supported Mushikiwabo’s candidacy describing her as a competent woman to head the organization.
In France, Kagame said that Rwanda has interests in contributing to building new realities of La Francophonie.
“As we like Rwanda would be asked by La Francophonie in this particular case, there is interest for us to be able to contribute in good way, building, going forward, new realities of Francophonie because of the new times. We are happy to participate in that sense of providing leaders or a leader like Mushikiwabo as long as this meets the understanding and the support especially the African members of the La Francophonie and France,” he said.
President Macron said that today’s centre of the La Francophonie is in Africa. He said that they want to change La Francophonie into a successful organization and assure that Africa will own the organization.
“I have a conviction that I cannot hide that if there is an African candidate to the Secretary General of La Francophonie, it will make sense. If that candidate is a woman it will surely make more sense. On that post I believe that the Foreign Affairs Minister of Rwanda, Louise Mushikiwabo has enough competence to effectively exercise that function,” Macron said adding that having an African candidate from African Union will be good news.
The La Francophonie comprises 57 member states and governments, three associate members and twenty observers. Rwanda has been a member of La Francofonie since 1970.