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Rwandan president Kagame has not appointed 19-year-old as minister

Rwandan president Paul Kagame has appointed a 19-year-old teenager as a minister, claims a message circulating on Facebook since 5 October 2020.

“Patrick NKURIZA 19 years old, appointed Minister of New Technologies and Development of RWANDA by Paul KAGAME,” one version reads.

The message claims the appointment was made on 4 October. It includes a photo of Kagame, and another of a young man.

Data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s public insights tool, shows the message has been shared hundreds of times in multiple public groups, attracting thousands of reactions.

Has Kagame really appointed a teenager to his cabinet?

Smartest boy in London

A Google reverse image of the photo of the young man reveals that it was used in an article on people with a high IQ, or intelligence quotient, published in British tabloid the Sun on 24 February 2014.

The article identifies him as Ramarni Wilfred, a British boy who was 12 years old at the time, making him about 17 now. It says he has an IQ higher than that of Stephen Hawking.

A 2019 BBC interview with Ramarni describes him as the smartest boy in London, with his IQ of 162 higher than that of Albert Einstein and Bill Gates as well.

A Google search for Rwanda’s minister of new technology reveals that there is no such docket. Instead, the minister of information and communications technology and innovation is Paula Ingabire, who took office on 22 October 2018. – Grace Gichuhi


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