U.S. Mission Agencies and Offices

Global HIV/AIDS Activities in Rwanda

Strategic Focus

Since 2002, CDC has been supporting the Rwanda Ministry of Health (MoH) in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), antiretroviral treatment (ART) and adherence, tuberculosis (TB)/HIV integration, blood safety, and laboratory and health workforce capacity building.

Strengthening Public Health Systems

CDC provides technical assistance to the Rwandan MoH in the areas of facility-based clinical services, strategic information, public health laboratory services, and human capacity development.  With this support, the Rwanda MoH provides comprehensive, integrated HIV clinical care and treatment services directly to the Rwandan population, serving approximately one-third of all Rwandan HIV patients eligible for treatment.

Strengthening Laboratory (lab) Systems

CDC builds the capacity of key reference lab functions in Rwanda, including: lab diagnostics, quality management systems, and operational research.  CDC helps develop in-country expertise for lab accreditation, strengthening lab infrastructure, and improving capacity at individual facilities for the delivery of high-quality clinical lab services.

Strengthening Surveillance and Health Information Systems

CDC supported the innovative use of cell phone and internet technology to develop a national HIV reporting system, which now includes integrated disease surveillance.  CDC also contributes to the national e-Health strategy through support for Health Management Information Systems.

Notable Accomplishments

HIV Clinical Services Transition: CDC/Rwanda began transitioning management responsibility of all HHS-supported HIV clinical services to the Rwanda MoH in 2009.  Since February 2012, the MoH has managed 76 health facilities, serving one-third of all HIV patients on ART in Rwanda.  Rigorous monitoring has ensured continued quality of services at these health facilities throughout the transition.

ART Services: CDC Rwanda has helped strengthen the scope, quality, and sustainability of ART services.  Rwanda has achieved one of the highest national ART coverage rates in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching an estimated 90 percent of those eligible for ART in June 2012.

PMTCT: Through the leadership of the MoH and the technical and financial support of CDC, the availability of PMTCT services has increased significantly.  As of June 2012, 458 sites (86.5 percent) of all health care facilities) in Rwanda were providing PMTCT services.  Among pregnant women receiving antenatal care, the national acceptance rate for HIV testing was 98 percent.

Couples HIV Counseling and Testing: Over 80 percent of male partners who accompanied women to antenatal care services for PMTCT were also tested for HIV.  Nationally, partner testing increased from 13 percent in 2003 to 84.5 percent as of June 2012.

TB/HIV Integration: All health facilities that offer TB services provide directly observed TB treatment.  CDC also supports the scale-up of “one-stop” TB/HIV integrated services, which are now being offered at 178 (90 percent) of the 197 current diagnostic and treatment centers in the country. Tuberculosis treatment success rates have increased from 58 percent in 2003 to 88.4 percent in 2010.

Key Country Leadership

  • President:   Paul Kagame
  • Minister of Health:  Dr. Diane Gashumba
  • U.S. Ambassador:   Erica Barks- Ruggles
  • CDC/DGHA Country Director:  Gene Macdonald
Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • 2.9% Estimated Prevalence (Age 15–49)(2011)
  • 6,400 Estimated Deaths (2011)
  • 170,000 Estimated Orphans (2011)
  • 96,123 Reported Number of People Receiving ART (as of June 2011)
  • 105,190 Estimated Number of People Needing ART

Source: UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic, 2012

Country Quick Facts
  • Per Capita GNI: $570 (2011)
    Population: 10,942,950 (2011)
    Under 5 Mortality: 54/1,000 live births (2011)
    Life Expectancy: 56 years (2012)

Source: http://data.worldbank.org/country/rwanda

The Consular Section is the principal office in the Mission assisting U.S. citizens in Rwanda. It provides services to help protect citizens’ rights and interests. It also provides essential welfare and humanitarian aid in cases of emergency.

Beyond this responsibility to the American Citizens, the consular section is a prime actor in the administration of U.S. immigration law, issuing visas for residence in the United States.

The issuance of non-resident visas for touring, doing business and studying in the United States is also undertaken by the Consulate.

Find Contact Information of the Consular Section.

The Defense Attaché represents the Secretary of Defense; the Secretaries of the Military Departments; the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Chiefs of the Military Services; U.S. Commander-in-Chief, and the Director, Defense Intelligence Agency to equivalent officials in Rwanda. The Defense Attaché provides military and politico-military advice, assistance, and support to the U.S. Mission to Rwanda.

Visit the Official Website of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Ambassador, or Chief of Mission, is the highest ranking American official in Rwanda. The full title is “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.” Extraordinary means that the Ambassador is the personal representative of the President of the United States in Rwanda. Plenipotentiary indicates full power to negotiate. The Ambassador is responsible for the personnel and activities of all U.S. executive departments and agencies operating in Rwanda.

Second to the Ambassador is the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM). The day-to-day management of the Embassy is the DCM’s responsibility, as is a share of the high-level representational entertaining, negotiation, appraisal and reporting on Rwandan-American relations and issues. In the Ambassador’s absence, the DCM becomes Chargé d’Affaires, thereby assuming all the Ambassador’s functions and responsibilities.

The Management Office is responsible for staffing, equipping and supporting the Embassy as a whole.

Responsibilities of the Management Officer include personnel, building maintenance, fiscal management, transportation, information systems and communications.

The Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) functions as the Security Cooperation link between the United States Government and the Government of Rwanda.

The Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) is responsible to the United States Africa Command and the United States Ambassador to Rwanda for enhancing the bilateral security relationship between the United States and Rwanda.  We do this by actively working with the Rwandan Defense Forces and other governmental institutions to hold training events, military to military engagements, and security cooperation activities between the United States and Rwanda.  The following are some of the programs we use to be able to carry out these objectives:

International Military Education and Training (IMET) is the centerpiece of the US security assistance effort in Rwanda. The IMET program provides military education and training to Rwandan military and civilian personnel in order to further the goal of regional stability through effective, mutually beneficial military-to-military relations that culminate in increased understanding and defense cooperation between the U.S. and Rwanda.  Of note, we have sent multiple military cadets to earn their commissions in the Rwandan Defense Forces by attending the United States Military Academy at West Point and the United States Air Force Academy.  In addition, many senior Rwandan military officers have been able to attend professional military education courses alongside other officers from the United States military.

Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative (GPOI) provides funds to train and equip Rwandan forces deploying to peacekeeping operations.  GPOI is also the funding mechanism for the Department of State’s African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program, which, through contractors, provides most of the peacekeeping operations training and equipping for deploying peacekeeping military and police forces.  GPOI is funded from the Department of State’s Peacekeeping Operations fund.

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR)   The OSC works with the United States Center for Disease Control and the United States Agency for International Development to promote strategies to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS.  The main focus of the OSC’s part of this program has been to partner with the Ministry of Health and the Rwandan Defense Forces to promote and make available voluntary medical male circumcision throughout Rwanda.  This procedure reduces potential for transmission of HIV/AIDS by up to 60% and has a goal to circumcise 800,000 Rwandan males by the end of 2016.

African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership:  This program was an outcome of the Africa Summit hosted by the President of the United States in 2014.  It is designed to build capacity in six African countries (Ghana, Senegal in the west, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda in the east) to enable the rapid deployment of peacekeepers to emerging crises.  We are working with the Rwandan Defense Forces to help build a regional peacekeeping rapid response capability.

Foreign Military Financing is a program for providing financing for the procurement of defense articles and services to assist Rwanda in being trained and equipped to be prepared to conduct peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, to increase interoperability between the US military and the Rwandan Defense Forces, and to contribute to regional and global security.

Humanitarian Assistance Projects:  This program funds the construction and renovation of public facilities.  The OSC has worked to improve the education infrastructure of Rwanda by conducting multiple projects constructing and renovating primary and vocational schools throughout the country.

Peace Corps in Rwanda

There are 138 Volunteers in Rwanda working with their communities on projects in education and health. During their service in Rwanda, Volunteers learn to speak Kinyarwanda. More than 605 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Rwanda since the program was established in 1975.
Learn more about Peace Corps in Rwanda .

The United States is proud to support Rwanda’s leadership in the global HIV/AIDS response.

PEPFAR collaborates with the Government of Rwanda to maximize the quality, coverage, and impact of the national response to HIV/AIDS and will continue to align investments with national priorities to reduce new infections and save lives.

Visit PEPFAR Website for more information.

The Political Section is responsible for analyzing and reporting on the full range of political activities in Rwanda. This includes the government, political parties, foreign affairs, human rights, labor, the judiciary, political-military affairs, social and religious affairs.

The mission of the Public Affairs Section (PAS) is to explain and advocate U.S. policy, act as a focal point for media and cultural relations, and advise the U.S. Mission to Rwanda on issues of public diplomacy. It also works closely with other sections of the American Embassy and Rwandan organizations to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. PAS responsibilities can be divided into two distinct categories: Media Affairs and Cultural/Educational Affairs.

Media Affairs

The Media Affairs section is responsible for working closely with Rwandan print, broadcast, and electronic media.  PAS provides press releases, policy statements, and texts of official speeches as well as information on a variety of topics including American politics, culture, business & trade, and education.

Press inquiries should all be directed to the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) at the Public Affairs Section.

Cultural and Educational Affairs

The Cultural and Educational Affairs section is responsible for increasing understanding of American society and culture and for promoting cultural and educational ties between the U.S. and Rwanda.  PAS works closely with a number of Rwandan institutions to organize lectures, exhibits, workshops and performances by American academics, writers and artists.

In addition, PAS promotes education and studying in the U.S. through its management of the J. William Fulbright Program as well as professional exchange programs such as the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy employs an EducationUSA advisor to assist students who aspire to study in the United States, and offers a collection of study guides for standardized tests including TOEFL, GRE, and SAT in the Information Resource Center (IRC).

The IRC is a library located in the U.S. Embassy and is a useful source of updated information on the United States. It is open to the general public, and offers a range of electronic and print resources, as well as a number of programs and services to encourage English language learning and to promote exchanges of culture and information.

The mission of the Regional Security Office is to provide a safe and secure environment for the effective implementation of U.S. foreign policy.  Diplomatic Security Special Agents assigned to U.S. Embassy Kigali as Regional Security Officers (RSOs) are the Ambassador’s primary advisors on all security and law enforcement issues and direct all aspects of the Mission’s security programs.  They develop and implement security programs to protect employees from terrorist, criminal, and technical attack both at work and at home.  They serve as the primary liaison with the Rwandan law enforcement authorities to obtain assistance with U.S. law enforcement initiatives and investigations.  In addition, RSOs provide security advice to U.S. businesses, NGO, faith-based, and educational organizations through The Overseas Security Advisory Council (https://www.osac.gov/Pages/Home.aspx).

  • Regional Security Officer
    Tel: +250-252-596-400

Americans with a genuine emergency (defined as imprisonment, death in the family, or life-threatening illness) should contact the Embassy on our main phone number at 250-252-596-400. Our Marine Security Guards at Post One are here and answer those calls after hours and on weekends.

International callers: please add 250 as Rwanda’s country code.

USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

Visit the Official Website of USAID RWANDA .