Only weeks after Rosette Rugamba – jubilant with bringing one last trophy as “Best African Stand” home from the annual ITB in Berlin – had announced her retirement after 7 years at the helm of first ORTPN (Rwanda Office of Tourism and National Parks) and then as deputy CEO of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in charge of tourism and conservation, were the expected organizational changes being announced in Kigali.
The new CEO John Gara, who took over last year from Mr. Ritchie, will have two new positions reporting to him, that of a chief operations officer and of a chief financial officer, whose appointments were approved by the cabinet in Kigali last week. They are Ms. Clare Akamanzi, who is the new COO, and Mr. James Kamanzi, the new CFO. It is understood that under the now set up, the legal, communications, PR, and a new strategy and competitiveness unit will report directly to the CEO, as will the COO and CFO.
All other heads of departments, including tourism and conservation, will report through the newly-created position of the COO. No immediate comments were received from RDB as to who will head the tourism and conservation department, or if the management of national parks would be privatized, as recently already done with the Akagera National Park, in order to outsource such functions and move park staff to the payrolls of private concessionaires.