Belgium to increase aid to Rwanda

KIGALI - Belgian Minister, Charles Michel meets President Paul Kagame.
President Kagame and Minister Charles Michel after their meeting at Urugwiro Village yesterday. (PPU/Photo)
President Kagame and Minister Charles Michel after their meeting at Urugwiro Village yesterday. (PPU/Photo)

KIGALI - The visiting Belgian Minister for International Cooperation, Charles Michel has said that his country plans to increase financial aid to Rwanda. He said the increase will be a sign Belgium intends to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Speaking after meeting President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro yesterday, Michel pointed out that his country would emphasize on putting more money in the sectors of energy, agriculture, health, education, good governance and infrastructure.

“In my meeting with President Kagame, I told him of how we think this country was performing regarding the proper use of aid. Rwanda’s performance is extremely good and that is why it is on top of the list of countries to which we want to offer more help,” Michel said.

Currently, Belgium’s total aid to Rwanda amounts to 140 million euros annually, much of which is directly channeled to the national budget and the remainder, goes to different partner development agencies.

Michel did not give the specific figure of the planned aid increment to Rwanda.
The State Minister for Cooperation, Rosemary Museminari who attended the meeting, said that President Kagame and Michel discussed regional peace as well, particularly the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Museminari said her Belgian counterpart urged that the investment climate in Rwanda be promoted continuously to even higher levels in order to attract investors from his country.
Rwanda on its part requested that investors endeavour to abide by the international investment laws.

Meanwhile Sudan’s Presidential Advisor and Special Envoy, Dr. Mustapha Osman met  President Kagame yesterday and delivered to him a message from his Sudanese counterpart, President Omar Al Bashir.

Osman said the message sent to President Kagame explains the current situation in The Sudan and also contains details of plans to strengthen our bilateral relations. He said it also talks about the upcoming African Union Summit to be held in Addis Ababa.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Charles Murigande said that among the issues discussed were the current situation in the troubled Darfur region and how President Bashir has worked on reducing the tension between his country and Chad.

“President Kagame and Osman also talked about increasing high profile visits between the two heads of state and regular interaction of government officials from both sides,” Murigande said.

He added that Osman briefed Kagame on how Sudan is trying to solve the problems which have hindered the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed in January, 2005 between The Sudan Government in Khartoum and the Government of South
Sudan.
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