Habumuremyi, Pierre Damien (Rwanda)
Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was sworn in as prime minister in Oct. 2011, succeeding Bernard Makuza. Makuza had served for 11 years, the longest serving head of government in Rwanda’s post-genocide era, and was credited with bringing a degree of stability to the country. A technocrat, Habumuremyi was previously the minister of education.
Habumuremyi was born in 1961 in Ruhondo, in Musanze District. He graduated in sociology from Lubumbashi University in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, before gaining postgraduate qualifications in education and political science.
He served from 2000–08 on the National Electoral Commission, including 5 years as executive secretary. In 2008 he was elected to represent the country at the East African Community Legislative Assembly.
In 2011 Habumuremyi was appointed Rwanda’s minister of education, serving 5 months before being appointed prime minister. His promotion to the premiership surprised many commentators, given his relatively low profile and lack of government experience.
Habumuremyi pledged to rejuvenate the economy and develop its information and communications base. He also promised to fight corruption and has refuted suggestions that he is a puppet of the president. In Nov. 2013 he announced priority development targets to be addressed by the government in the 2013–14 fiscal year, notably the doubling of electricity generation and the expansion of water supply infrastructure.
Hubumuremyi’s term as prime minister unexpectedly ended on 24 July 2014 when he was replaced by Anastase Murekezi, who had been nominated by President Paul Kagame.