UK minister expected in Rwanda this week

The British minister for the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, is expected to arrive in Rwanda this week on his third visit to Africa since he took office in July.

The British minister for the Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, is expected to arrive in Rwanda this week on his third visit to Africa since he took office in July.

During his visit, Wharton, who oversees development aid in Africa, will meet government officials to discuss areas of mutual interest, including poverty reduction, education, trade and investment, according to a statement.

 

He will also visit several existing UK aid funded projects that are promoting poverty reduction, economic growth and stability.

 

Speaking ahead of his visit, Wharton said he would be keen to see firsthand Rwanda’s progress over the last two decades as well as identify areas of mutual cooperation going forward.

 

“I am looking forward to seeing first-hand the remarkable progress that Rwanda has made over the last twenty years. I am proud that the UK has been able to support Rwanda on this journey – contributing to its achievement of lifting over 1.5 million people out of poverty in recent years - and it is great to see the strong partnership that we’ve built,” he said.

Wharton said the UK planned to maintain its commitment to support Rwanda and the region for mutual interest between the two parties.

“As an outward-looking, globally engaged nation, the UK is committed to maintaining the broad range of support that it provides to Rwanda, helping to tackle poverty, boost economic development, drive investment and create jobs – which will increase global prosperity,” he added.

During his visit, the minister is expected to travel to Musanze where he will meet the Mayor and see first-hand how UK aid is supporting the flagship Vision Umurenge Programme, which provides temporary employment in public works.

He will assess how UK aid and private investment have fared in supporting economic development through the commercialisation of agriculture, the statement added.

While in Kigali, Wharton is also expected to evaluate how UK aid is working with the government and Trade Mark East Africa to develop digital technologies that reduce the cost of trade and increase domestic tax revenues.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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