Belgian envoy bids farewell


Amb. Pauwels bids farewell to Makuza in Kigali, yesterday. Nadege K. Imbabazi.

After three years of representing his country in Rwanda, the Belgian ambassador to Rwanda, Arnout Pauwels, on Tuesday, called on Senate president Bernard Makuza and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Donatille Mukabalisa to bid his farewell.

President of Senates Bernard Makuza addresses media. Nadege Imbabazi

Pauwels promised to continue working towards enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries.

Addressing the media immediately after his meeting with Makuza, Pauwels, who was one of the observers of the just-concluded Presidential Elections, applauded Rwandans for turning up to vote in big numbers.

“Diplomats based in Rwanda observed the elections in different teams. They were able to witness firsthand how elections were conducted in peace. We must applaud the voters for their commitment,” he said.

He expressed confidence in President Paul Kagame’s ability to deliver over the coming years as he has done in the past.

“President Kagame has many policies lined up and as he explained during his campaigns, he intends to continue improving the economy and to capitalise on what has been achieved to even do better and that gives us confidence and we are determined to keep both our governments working together to achieve this,” he said.

Pauwels also talked about the HeForShe movement for which Kagame is one of the global ‘Impact Champions’, saying that the campaign has potential to significantly improve women’s rights across the globe.

“In Rwanda, HeForShe was introduced by the President to promote women at all levels, something that is valuable in promoting women’s rights. We are looking forward to see the fruits of this movement get to 100 per cent,” he said.

Makuza told journalists that he had discussed with Pauwels how to further improve the bilateral relations between the two countries.

“We had an opportunity to discuss the relationship between our countries, how Belgium can support us, especially in terms of medical facilities but also to take it to another level where investors from each country can take advantage of the opportunities available in either country,” he said.

Pauwels, who has been in Rwanda since 2014, will be replaced by Benoît Ryelandt, a former deputy secretary general in Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.