Rwandan High Commissioner Yamina Karitanyi on Tuesday presented her letters of credence to the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, at a formal ceremony held at Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin.
The presentation marked the official assumption of duties as non-resident Rwandan envoy to Ireland.
Karitanyi is resident in London.
During the meeting, the Ambassador thanked President Higgins for the audience and conveyed greetings and best wishes from President Paul Kagame, expressing the desire to further strengthen a positive relationship and partnership between Rwanda and Ireland.
After the audience, Karitanyi hosted a Vin d’Honneur which was attended by several members of the diplomatic corps from friendly states, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, members of the Civic Society, NGOs, Friends of Rwanda and members of the Rwandese community in Ireland.
Speaking on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Paula Kenny, congratulated the ambassador on her accreditation and, spoke positively of Rwanda’s transformation and continued progress, particularly praising Rwanda’s economic development, its leadership in women empowerment and its peacekeeping initiatives.
Kenny added that her department is proud to work with a stable, strategic and progressive partner, and that the strong bilateral relations between Ireland and Rwanda are based on shared values and priorities.
Addressing the guests, Karitanyi pledged to work tirelessly during her tour of duty to ensure that the solid collaboration between the two nations, which has had a positive impact on Rwanda over the years, continue to grow.
She said that the lessons from Rwanda’s heavy past “have given us [Rwandans] the resolve, tenacity and resilience that has brought the nation as far as it has come today”, and that with a clear vision of to make it a middle-income country by 2020; driven by a capable and responsive state, supported by a knowledge-based economy, the sky is the limit to how much Rwanda can achieve along with its partners.
The Ambassador noted that there is a growing engagement of Irish companies doing great work in Rwanda, such as Bewley’s Tea, the Healy Group, the International Computer Driving Licence, whose African hub is based in Kigali, Traidlinks.
She added that Rwanda expects the number of visitors and trade between the two countries to grow following the introduction of direct flights from Kigali to London Gatwick, with a short connection to Dublin, Ireland.
The Ambassador invited tourists and investors to visit Rwanda, and take advantage of the eased access to the country.