FAO in Rwanda
FAO Rwanda staff - January 2020

FAO Rwanda’s Comparative Advantage

FAO’s comparative advantage is derived from the organization’s mandate and its capacity to actively support the government of Rwanda in pursuing its development agenda. FAO’s strategic objectives are aligned with the national development plan, and the organization provides technical support and capacity building at national and decentralized levels.

Agricultural experts, policy-makers, NGOs, and farmer organizations look to FAO for expertise and knowledge on agriculture, food security, and environmental management. FAO provides the stage for building common understanding between stakeholders.

FAO Rwanda currently has permanent administrative and programme staff. The team is joined regularly by contracted professionals and short-term assistants as well as interns.

List of FAO Rwanda employees

Mr Gualbert Gbehounou, FAO Representative

Mr Gualbert Gbehounou, FAO Representative

Gualbert has more than 30 years of experience in the agriculture world.

Prior to his current position, he was serving from 2010 as Agricultural Officer in the Plant Production and Protection Division (AGP) and also as member of the Sustainable Agriculture Programme Management Team (SP2), at FAO Rome, Italy.

He started his career in 1985 as Weed Scientist and Crop Protectionist in the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Benin (INRAB). In 2009 he was appointed Director of the Cotton Research Centre of INRAB.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Crop Science, from the Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, and a PhD in Biology / Weed Ecology, from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Mr Otto Vianney Muhinda, Assistant FAO Representative/Programme

Mr Otto Vianney Muhinda, Assistant FAO Representative/Programme

Otto joined the FAO office in Kigali (Rwanda) in January 2014 as Assistant FAO Representative/Programme, after 17 years of service at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda.

He is a veterinary surgeon graduated from the EISMV of University of Dakar (Senegal) in 1996 and hold a Master Degree of Animal breeding/Genetics from the same University in 2002. His professional career began in 1997 when he started as a senior breeder in the National Artificial Insemination Centre (CNIA) in Kigali. From there he successively worked as Director of the “One cow per family programme”, as Director of Veterinary services (DVS) of Rwanda and as Coordinator of “Food Security and Nutrition Programme” at the Ministry.

On the personal note, he used to be a National Team Rugby player and Chairman of Rwanda Rugby Federation for 5 years (2009-2014). He was also the President of Rwanda Veterinary Association for 10 years (2008-2018).

Ms Caritas Kayilisa, National Project Manager

Ms Caritas Kayilisa, National Project Manager

She holds a Master of Science degree in Social Sciences, Gender and Development from the National University of Rwanda, a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with honors in Human Resource Management from the former Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management (KIST).

Caritas served as Gender Advisor for the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Technical Assistance Facility to the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (Agri - TAF) of Rwanda from 2016 to 2019. She worked with the former Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) as Gender Expert hosted in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2014 to 2016. She worked with UNWOMEN on facilitating the implementation of the first Gender mainstreaming strategy in Agriculture from 2012 to 2014.

Caritas served as Advisor to the National Electoral Commission in 2011. She worked as a consultant in the area of Socio-economic research, gender responsive budgeting, gender audit, gender mainstreaming and gender equality advocacy from 2009 to 2010. She has been the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Unity Club from 2004 to 2009. Caritas was the head of the Accounting Department in the National Post Office from 2003 to 2004.

Ms Grace Uwamwezi, National Policy and Programme Specialist (Project Coordinator)

Ms Grace Uwamwezi, National Policy and Programme Specialist (Project Coordinator)

Grace is an Environmental scientist with a MSc. in Environmental Governance, BSc. in Environmental Health, a high school diploma in Biology and Chemistry and various training certificates in the related field.

She has more than 13 years of working experience in international organizations in programs related to environmental management, sustainable agriculture and livestock development programs.

She joined FAO Rwanda in December 2020, as the National Project Coordinator (Policy & Programs)-ACP-MEAs3 Project.

Prior to joining FAO, she was working at the African Union inter-African bureau for animal resources (AU-IBAR- Nairobi) where she had spent 9 years. She worked with the European Union Delegation to Rwanda and Partners in Health in Rwanda (USAID).

She has extensive work experience in the African region and strong partnership with various stakeholders with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues on Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) related to environmental management, sustainable agriculture and livestock development programs.

She has conducted several environmental and social impact assessments (EIAs, ESAs & EAs) and research activities in the field of natural resources management, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, green economy strategies, clean energy, waste management, sustainable land use programs and climate change policies and measures. She is also familiar with handling donor funds with the appropriate financial procedures, procurement rules and reporting mechanisms.

Mr Anastase Harelimana, National Project Coordinator (TA-SAIP Team leader)

Mr Anastase Harelimana, National Project Coordinator (TA-SAIP Team leader)

Anastase is an agronomist with over 12 years work experience in the field of agriculture and horticulture, especially in Sanitary and phytosanitary matters. He has worked and initiated both plant health and agrochemical laws and decrees in Rwanda which are actually helping exporters to meet the requirements of both World Trade Organization (WTO) and International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). He initiated the national quarantine pests as well as regulated non-quarantine pest’s lists in Rwanda. He graduated with a PhD in Agricultural Sciences and Biological engineering from Université Catholique de Louvain (Louvain- la-Neuve) /Belgium. His PhD thesis was about the use of conservation agriculture and biological control by conservation to sustainably manage plant pests. This paradoxical approach can confer a high significant retrieval of ecosystem services destroyed by the misuse of synthetic pesticides. He is additionally competitive in biometrics, Analysis of variance, Project management, Environmental economics, disaster preparedness and mitigation.

He is currently the Coordinator of the project “Technical Assistance: Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Food Security (TA-SAIP)”, and a Reviewer at Journal of Agriculture Science (Canada).

Ms Christine Mukantwali, National Project Coordinator (City Region Food System project)

Ms Christine Mukantwali, National Project Coordinator (City Region Food System project)

Christine is coordinating FAO-led project “City Region Food Systems” in Rwanda.

Prior to coordinating this project, she supported FAO to profile school feeding meals in Rwanda and develop school meal guidelines; worked at World Vision where she supervised nutrition related research activities and SFH Rwanda as a nutrition budget analyst. She holds a BSc (1997) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from National University of Rwanda, a BSc Honours (2003) in Human Nutrition and MSc (2005) in Human Nutrition respectively at University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa), and a PhD in Food Science and Technology (2014) at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania. She worked as a senior research scientist at Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB) since 2005 and has served in various technical and leadership positions. Christine has served as the lead scientist for post-harvest losses reduction and nutrition (2005-present) and improvement programs, pioneering the value addition of roots and tubers, fruits and vegetables value chains. Furthermore, She was instrumental in strengthening several small scale processors and producers who have grown from a very small level to a medium level by using value addition technologies developed by her and a research team from local and international research and teaching institutions including AWARD (African Women in Agriculture Research and Development, ASARECA (Association for strengthening Agriculture Research and Development in Eastern and Central Africa); Sokoine University of Agriculture, CIRAD-Montpellier, Horticulture Innovation Lab-UC Davis and through competitive research and development grants.

She teaches nutrition and food security courses at university of Rwanda and Catholic University of Rwanda and has served as the Vice-President of the Federation of African Nutrition Societies (2011-2016) and is currently the president of the Rwanda Nutrition Society.

Mr Joseph Higiro, Farmer field school (FFS) Specialist

Mr Joseph Higiro, Farmer field school (FFS) Specialist

Joseph holds a Master in Agriculture/Tropical and Subtropical plant protection from the University of Liège/ Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech in Belgium.

He has extensive experience in crop pests and diseases management and in pesticides use management and he is among the pioneers of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, and the farmer field school (FFS) approach in Rwanda.

In 2019, he worked briefly with FAO-Madagascar, providing consultancy services in Fall Armyworm surveillance, early warning and integrated management.

Prior to joining FAO-Rwanda in 2020 as FFS Specialist, he was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) through its implementing agency - Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), where he was the National farmer field school (FFS) Coordinator, and supported different projects on Pest and Disease surveillance and diagnosis, Researcher, Extension Manager, Crop Protection.

While with RAB, he contributed a lot to the implementation of the Crop Intensification Program (CIP) for priority crops and to the Rwandan “Twigire Muhinzi” extension model. He has contributed to the implementation of different projects in controlling Cassava Mosaic Virus (CMV), Cassava Brown Streak Virus (CBSV), Banana Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Fall Armyworm), etc.

Mr Placide Nshuti Kanyabujinja, Project Consultant

Mr Placide Nshuti Kanyabujinja, Project Consultant

Placide has been working with FAO Rwanda as project manager on Irrigation and Agricultural water management for over four years now.

He is a water engineer (professional & registered Engineer at Institution of Engineers Rwanda) with 10 years’ experience in various aspects of water engineering especially in Irrigation and Agriculture water Management. He has an extensive experience in Hydraulic structures, Hydrology and Environmental Engineering; from designing, construction, management to Operation and Maintenance.

Prior this position, he worked as a consultant in water sector in Rwanda (Irrigation and domestic water supply) with different companies, and as a lecturer of Irrigation, Hydraulic structures and drinking water supply at Rwanda Polytechnic/ IPRC - Kigali for 9 years. He is a certified TVET - Master Trainer and served for Rwanda TVET Trainer Institute (RTTi) for 3 years. He holds a MEng degree in Water Engineering from Stellenbosch University, South Africa. In his Master’s research, he conducted the CFD modelling of ogee spillway hydraulics with comparison to physical model tests.

Mr Jean Claude Habineza, Nutrition specialist (TA - SAIP)

Mr Jean Claude Habineza, Nutrition specialist (TA - SAIP)

Jean Claude holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Rwanda and a Master’s in Development Studies. He was a Global Health Corps Fellow class of 2016-2017 working with Rwanda Ministry of Health, and under that fellowship, he attended various prestigious training programs on global health equity, team management, and leadership at Yale University, USA.

Jean Claude was a Mandela Washington Fellow class of 2019 in Civic Engagement Track at Kansas State University.

Jean Claude has over ten years of work experience with non-governmental organizations and the Rwanda Government in various domains, including community health development, social protection, humanitarian and nutrition programming.

Prior to joining FAO-Rwanda as the Nutrition Specialist, Jean Claude has worked with SNV Rwanda as National Nutrition Advisor. He worked for the American Refugee Committee (ARC) in different capacities, first as the refugee camp Manager and later as the National Nutrition Technical Coordinator.

Jean Claude worked also for Global Health Corps in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA) as the Social Cluster Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. He served as the Nutrition Officer for a period of three years under the Ministry of Health Rwanda.

Ms Angelique Uwimana, National Consultant

Ms Angelique Uwimana, National Consultant

She has worked with FAO Rwanda as ICT4Ag project manager for over three years now.

Prior to joining FAO, she was a Knowledge Management, and Information Management Specialist in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI)’s Agricultural Information and Communication (CICA) coordinating different ICT4Ag related projects for over 9 years. She contributed to the process of developing Rwanda's ICT4Ag Strategy (2016-2020) that is inspiring the digitalization of agricultural sector in Rwanda. She sits on a number of technical committees including, agricultural M&E/MIS Technical Team, Agriculture Communication Team, ICT4Ag steering committee, Communication and Knowledge Management for African Forum for Agricultural Advisory services (AFAAS) among others. She is a part-time lecturer of Information Technology at Kigali Independent University (Kigali and Gisenyi campuses) for 5 years now. She was the Managing Director of The Bridge SARL 2006-2008.

Angelique holds a Master’s degree in Information systems and bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and information Technology. She has a 13-year experience in Information technology mostly in ICT for agricultural sector.

Ms Josepha Mukamana, National Project Manager

Ms Josepha Mukamana, National Project Manager

Josepha is a Master Trainer in Farmer Field and Life School Approach (FFLS). She has more than 28 years of experience in Rural Development and more than 20 years of experience with FAO in many context, Emergency projects, Food security, nutrition, HIV/AIDS and Gender mainstreaming. She received trainings related to gender mainstreaming, Farmer Field and Life school, Ethics, transformative leadership, etc. She started managing projects since 2006. Currently, she is working as project manager coordinating: “Rural Women Economic Empowerment Project (RWEE), a joint program with UNWomen, WFP and IFAD”.

She holds a bachelor degree in sociology.

Ms Jean Paul Mushayija, National Project Coordinator

Ms Jean Paul Mushayija, National Project Coordinator

Jean Paul is a specialist in public health epidemiology, health risk management and diseases control. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary medicine from the University of Rwanda. He has experience in veterinary and One Health fields that he acquired through various accomplishments from Rwanda, United States of America and Canada.

Prior to joining FAO Rwanda in 2018, he was implementing One Health Workforce project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He has previously worked as a National Technical Assistant for the FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) project implemented in Rwanda, and now as a National Project Coordinator for Rwanda Dairy Development project.

Ms Rosine Mizero

Ms Rosine Mizero

Rosine has a Bachelors’ degree in Soil and Water Management from the University of Rwanda.

She has been working with FAO as a technical assistant on nutrition projects that have a nutrition sensitive agriculture component since 2018. She is currently managing a project on climate resilience.

Prior to joining FAO, she worked briefly with private and government bodies with agriculture in their mandate.

She is enthusiastic about the agriculture and environmental fields.

Mr Emmanuel Byiringiro, IT Consultant

Mr Emmanuel Byiringiro, IT Consultant

Emmanuel has more than 5 years of experience in the Information technology (IT). He is the IT consultant at FAO Rwanda since April 2016.

Prior to joining FAO, he was serving as the Web and Mobile (Android) Application Developer at Medmasoft Corporation. He served as the IT Manager at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Rwanda) in 2015. He started his career in 2013 as the assistant IT Manager in UNFPA and after worked as the System Administrator at the Kagera Sugar Ltd in Tanzania until 2014.

He holds a Bachelor Degree of Sciences in Computer Science from St. Lawrence University Uganda.