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Jean-Paul Adam named chairperson of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas board | 19 October 2020

Jean-Paul Adam named chairperson of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas board

Seychellois Jean-Paul Adam has been appointed the first president of the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

It is Rwanda President Paul Kagame who has chosen former minister Adam turned United Nations (UN) executive to help authorities in Kigali to polish the country's image as hub of responsible mining production.

Under the leadership of chief executive Francis Gatare since its creation in Rwanda in 2017 to coordinate the country's extractive industry, this is the first board of directors of the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB).

Other than board president Adam, the six members are Rwandans with high levels of expertise in mining. The board brings an asset of industry experience and strategic business knowledge, including expertise in operations, large project execution, and legal and financial acumen. It will oversee the functioning of the executive organ of RMB and provide strategic guidance to be followed in fulfillment of its responsibilities.

Vice-chairperson Dr Digne Rwabuhungu is the Dean of the School of Mining and Geology, University of Rwanda. The other members are Diane Uwitonze (managing partner at Beyond Invest Capital Ltd, an investment and transaction advisory company), Calvin Mitali (partner at Equity Juris Chambers, one of the leading corporate law firms in Rwanda), Eng. Naila Umubyeyi (independent consultant with over 10 years in environmental management and civil engineering projects), Fulgence Dusabimana (with over 10 years of experience working in the construction industry and high learning institutions in Rwanda), and Augusta M.C Umutoni (physicist, manager of Lake Kivu Monitoring Program (LKMP) within Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

Rwanda President Paul Kagame is looking to attract foreign investors to Rwandan hydrocarbons and more specifically its mines ‒ which contain vast and yet unexplored resources in 3T (tin, tantalum and tungsten) as well as gold and gemstones and where there are an increasing number of projects to build ore processing plants.

According to reports, Mr Adam's arrival should help reach this goal, as according to these same reports, he has a proven track record as much in promotional operations as he does in international negotiations.

The Rwandan president is especially keen on changing his country's image, from a centre for the illegal trafficking of African ore to a hub of traceability and respect for the environment.

Therefore Adam has been chosen to endorse Rwanda as an actor in transparent, responsible and sustainable development in the mining sector, in accordance with the principles of the African Union's (AU) African Mining Vision.

Mr Adam was recommended to the Rwandan head of state by Cameroonian Vera Songwe, a former executive at the World Bank who became executive secretary of UNECA in 2017.

He served as minister of foreign affairs (2010-2015), of finance, (2015-2016) and of health and social affairs (2016-2020). At the beginning of this year, he became director of climate change, natural resource management and technology at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).


Compiled by Gerard Govinden

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