Rwanda: Jeanine Munyeshuliv’s Transformation From A Yoga Teacher To A Cabinet Minister

Two new faces have joined cabinet following Tuesday’s reshuffle announced by the Office of the Prime Minister. They include Jeanine Munyeshuli, an economist and yoga teacher, and Sandrine Umutoni, who was until yesterday the director-general of Imbuto Foundation.

Munyeshuli was appointed the Minister of State for Public Investment and Resource Mobilization at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, with Umutoni taking up the re-introduced position of State Minister in the Ministry of Youth.

Munyeshuli becomes the first person to occupy the new ministerial portifolio, with the Ministry of Public Investments and Privatisation having been dissolved and the function moved to the Finance docket.

She has been a board member of the AZAHAR Foundation since 2010. The foundation is dedicated to serving post-conflict communities by offering yoga classes and yoga teacher training. It says its main objective is to disrupt cycles of violence by prioritising the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals, as well as enhancing their respective communities.

At AZAHAR, she led the development of strategic partnerships for the Foundation’s engagement in favour of women and youth. “This includes influencing high-level leaders in politics and philanthropists to support and contribute to the delivery of our mission. I founded the AZAHAR’s Rwanda chapter,” she previously wrote on one of her social media accounts.

A yoga teacher, Munyeshuli holds a Master’s Degree in Econometrics and Statistics from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Before her appointment on Tuesday, Munyeshuli served as the Chief Strategy Officer at the University of Global Health Equity since December 2021. She has also been an African advisory board member at the same university since July 2021. She’s also held the role of vice-chair of the board of directors of COGEBANQUE.

From April 2018-2020, she held the position of Chief Operating Officer at SouthBridge Group, a financial services institution. While there, she “designed ad implemented all the plans and procedures for operations to run smoothly.”

“I oversaw daily operations and led the Kigali team to reach their maximum performance. I collaborated on global projects, notably as an expert on the setup of Sovereign funds. I contributed to key proposals for many African governments related to strategic advisory services and managed the relationship with key partners,” according to information on her LinkedIn page.

Before assuming her COO role at SouthBridge Group, Munyeshuli served as a Senior Consultant at the same institution from 2017-2018.

From 1998-2002, she worked as a Quantitative Analyst and Investment Manager at Unigestion in Switzerland. After that, she served as a Quantitative Strategist at Pictet Group in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2004-2009.

While there, she developed a set of highly sophisticated set of macro indicators which were part of the Bank Monthly Investment Review for both private and institutional clients. “My team accurately predicted the US 2007-2008 recession. We were amongst the very few strategists in the world to do so. I developed an in-house methodology for asset allocation (Long Equity Markets) for the use of Pictet Asset Management.”

The economist has previously described herself as “a community leader and a seasoned strategic advisor.”

“After more than a decade working in the most sophisticated financial institutions of Switzerland as hedge fund manager, asset manager and strategist, I re-oriented my career towards philanthropy and yoga,” she wrote on her LinkedIn page.


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