Governors in new Rwandan provinces named after compass points have begun work as part of the government's policy to decentralise power.
The North, South, East, West provinces, and Kigali, the capital, replace 12 others abolished this year.
Rwanda's centralised political system is blamed for helping those in power to carry out the 1994 genocide.
Correspondents say the move is meant to weaken ethnic distinctions by merging the old states into multi-ethnic areas.
The names of some of the old provinces also bring to mind the genocide, they say.
Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 100 days during the genocide.
The government says the new system will help improve local services.
The new governors, appointed by the government, will oversee a transition period until elections.
Although the governor of Kigali will be chosen in an election next month, as it is a more coveted post.