East Africa

Rwanda names central banker as new finance minister in reshuffle

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Kigali – Rwanda's central bank governor Claver Gatete was named finance minister in a direct swap with his predecessor, the government website said on Tuesday, a move officials said was unlikely to cause major a policy change.

Gatete replaces John Rwangombwa, who takes over the position of governor at the National Bank of Rwanda. The government's website gave no reason for the reshuffle.

Gatete has been accredited with overseeing a period of relative monetary stability during his almost two years at the head of the central bank at a time inflation skyrocketed and currencies lurched violently in east Africa's biggest economies.

Asked what the reshuffle meant for economic policy, one government insider said: "I don't think there will be any major shake up."

Rwanda's economy is seen expanding 7.1 percent in 2013, lower than previously thought, after donors suspended aid over Rwanda's alleged support for rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Paul Kagame will swear in the new cabinet on Tuesday at 0800 GMT.

(Reporting by Jenny Clover; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by James Macharia)

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