Rwandan Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary General of International Community of La Francophonie, is facing strong criticisms from governments of member states over alleged mismanagement. The criticisms have become louder as the IX Francophonie Games are planned in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), between August 19-28, 2022.
Francophonie Under Former Rwandan Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
The Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF - International Organisation of La Francophonie), also known as the Francophonie, is an international organization formed by 88 member states in which French language is a customary or an official language. Its headquarters are in Paris, with an annual budget of around $100 millions and more than 300 employees.
The Francophonie is currently led by a Rwandan former minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, as Secretary General. However, the Rwandan Government, which in the past was Francophone, no longer considers French as an official language and has instead joined The CommonWealth.
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Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo replaced the Canadian Michaëlle Jean in January 2019. During the transition, it was clarified that one of the challenges OIF was facing was mismanagement of public funds, allocated by the member states. Michaëlle Jean was criticized for allegedly mismanaging the funds, especially pointing to allocation of funds to activities and projects not related to the primary mission of the organization: langage and culture
Criticisms over Mismanagement of Funds and Slow Promised Changes.
When Ms. Louse Mushikiwabo was appointed, many across the board had pointed to the disregard for human rights and fundamental freedoms, given that she was a former Minister of the Rwandan government, led by General Paul Kagame, widely accused of major crimes and systematic abuses of humanity rights. Some of the major crimes were documented in 2010 UN Mapping Report and several followup investigations.
During her inauguration speech, Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo promised major changes within OIF, including bringing soundness in the management, fighting nepotism and promoting transparency. She had hired a private firm to help her in the task.
Now, after a little more than 2 years in office, things appear to have not improved. Recently, Liberation, a french media, published a slating report on the alleged mismanagement of OIF under Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo leadership.
According to Liberation, some close aides to Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo have wasted large sums of money and the reforms promised by Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo were never implemented. The media also disclose the content of a February 2020 report, pointing to nepotism in recruitments, financial irregularities, a lack of fraud prevention or even potential corruption. That report was apparently squashed by the current OIF management team.
The spokesperson of OIF have rejected the criticisms arguing that the changes promised by Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo are still underway.
Meanwhile, several official members of the governments of the member states of OIF have requested investigations into the mismanagement of OIF under Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo.
This latest crisis happens when OIF is getting ready for The Jeux de la Francophonie or Francophonie Games. The organization of The Jeux de la Francophonie or Francophonie Games are also facing challenges due to mismanagement, secret deals, and backstabbing ( See DRC - Francophonie: DRC set to Loose Off Hosting the IXth Francophonie Games to Rwanda, due to Intended Chaos )
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