Rwanda and the Kingdom of The Netherlands will continue to strengthen bilateral ties on various issues, officials from both countries have said.
They were speaking during celebrations to mark the Dutch King’s Day at the ambassador’s residence in Nyarutarama, a Kigali suburb.
The Dutch envoy to Rwanda, Fredrique de Man, said there is need for the two countries to further strengthen their cooperation on such issues as development support, trade and investment.
“We have a busy and ambitious shared agenda ahead of us and the main challenge lies in diversifying our relations. Further implementing the aid to trade policies that are the backbone of the Dutch development approach will, without any doubt, boost the Rwandan–Dutch partnership,” the envoy said.
What will also help is that we expect 2016 to be a year in which several important investments and partnerships will take off,” she said.
She further noted that The Netherlands was ready to partner with Rwanda on its journey to becoming a middle income country.
“The Netherlands is very much a partner on this journey with collaboration in the justice sector, in the field of Food and Nutrition Security and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Through the IWRM Programme, my country intends to contribute to Rwanda’s efforts to face its problems in a constructive way also by contributing to green growth and climate resilience.”
She said focus is at ways and means to strengthen civil society, for them not only to be a service provider but also to be partners that keep both Rwanda and The Netherlands “awake and on course”.
That challenge for us is to continue to be creative and innovative where necessary and to use lessons learned where applicable, she said.
In his remarks, Dr Vincent Biruta the Minister for Natural Resources, commended the Dutch support in Rwanda’s development and pledged continued commitment in the cooperation.
“We continue to reflect on how to diversify our bond with emphasis on trade and economic relations between our countries which have a trend of continuous development,” said the minister.
He added: “As we struggle to rebuild this country, I thank the people of The Netherlands for having stood with us from the beginning. We reiterate our commitment to continue working with your government for the good of our two peoples, our immediate neighbourhood and the good of the global community.”
“We also acknowledge and appreciate the Dutch support in our efforts in key sectors, including the justice sector and water resources management sector”.
“The Dutch came to us at the very time we needed them by contributing to the humanitarian assistance at the time of emergencies in immediate aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Our relationship is based on mutual understanding and respect,” he added.
Biruta called for joint efforts against all kinds of extremism, saying that world today is still threatened by wars, extremism and terrorism. “Let’s come together and join our efforts against any kind of extremism for the purpose of saving and defending the human civilisation and the precious gift of life.”
The Dutch King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of The Netherlands and is celebrated every April 27.
It’s the day that the Dutch King Willem-Alexander was born – in 1967.