The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State have appointed Ambassador Richard Sezibera from Rwanda as the new secretary General of the Community on a five-year term with effect from last week.
A communiqué issued at the end of the Heads of State summit held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania last week said Dr. Sezibera replaces Ambassador Juma Volter Mwapachu who completed his term of office on April 24, 2011.
Speaking after being sworn in, Dr Sezibera said that his focus will be to strengthen and bring the Community’s programmes to success. He said his main duties will be to push for the complete establishment of the East African common market and put it into practice.
“I expect the partner states to support me in ensuring the implementation of the Community programmes,” said Dr Sezibera.
He added that another duty will be to facilitate integration and make sure all the residents of the EAC area well informed and aware of the EAC programmes and activities.
On what EAC people should expect from him, the new secretary-general said his commitment to work for the Community was among the important issues that would move the Community’s development ahead.
“I am committed to work for the East African people, it makes me very proud and courageous,” said Dr Sezibera.
Until his new appointment, Dr Sezibera, (47), the youngest person to hold the top EAC post since the revival of the regional bloc in 1999 has been Rwanda’s health minister since October 2008. He has served in many capacities in the Rwandan government including Presidential Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Ambassador to the United States and Senior Adviser to the President where he worked on peace and security, conflict management and resolution, as well as regional integration issues.
He is the author of many university journals, mainly in the field of politics and international affairs, and has published numerous articles and interviews in major national, regional and international media houses including Voice of America, CNN, BBC, The Washington Post and Foreign Affairs magazine.
Dr. Sezibera holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree and practiced medicine for many years in Uganda and Rwanda. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.
Summit Chairman Pierre Nkurunziza told the new leaders that the mission is to lead the Community in its second decade of integration, with a calendar of great commitments because the peoples of the community have become very demanding, and require concrete results from the integration.
Hailing the choice of Sezibera, officials in the Rwandan Senate said the appointment was a sign that the EAC’s integration would be fast tracked.
“It’s great to have someone who has wide experience in politics; it’s good for Rwanda and the wider Community,” Senator Agnes Mukabaranga said. “Dr Sezibera has vast experience considering the posts he has held before. He is very innovative and industrious.”
Mukabaranga said Dr Sezibera has the spirit of innovation that is needed to fast track the region’s integration process. He becomes the fourth secretary-general of the EAC.