Dr Charles Murigande is a politician and diplomat who has served in a number of ministerial positions with the Government of Rwandan and as a foreign representative for the nation in Japan and Australia. Dr Murigande was Rwanda’s minister of foreign affairs between 2002 and 2008, minister of governmental affairs from 2008 to 2009 and minister of education from 2009 to 2011. He has been based overseas since 2011, working first as Rwanda’s ambassador to Japan and now as the high commissioner to Australia and New Zealand.
Although he was born in Rwanda, Dr Murigande spent the large part of his childhood and formative years living as a refuge in neighbouring Burundi. He and his family were forced to flee their home in southern Rwanda during civil unrest in the 1960s. After completing his higher education Burundi, Dr Murigande undertook graduate and post-graduate studies in Belgium and obtained a PhD in Mathematics. Later, he joined Howard University in Washington, DC and became an Associate Professor Head of the Biostatistical Division of College of Medicine.
In the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide Dr Murigande returned to his homeland to assist in the country’s reconstruction. He began work with the new government under President Paul Kigame, quickly taking the role as adviser to the president on foreign affairs. He took up his first ministerial position in 1995 and worked continually as a government minister for the next 17 years, except during the periods he spent as Rector of the National University of Rwanda and the Secretary General of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.