URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame, yesterday, received seven envoys from Japan, Tunisia, Spain, Namibia, Indonesia, Sweden and the Philippines who presented their credentials as representatives of their countries to Rwanda.
Speaking to the press shortly after meeting the President, the officials expressed great interest to broaden the relations that each of the seven countries shares with Rwanda, saying that as Ambassadors, this will be their main role.
According to Japan’s newly appointed envoy, Kunio Hatanaka, coming to Rwanda is very significant.
“Initially, the Japanese Embassy in Nairobi was in charge of the Rwandan affairs, but this has changed today. Opening our Embassy here will further strengthen our relationship with this country,” Hatanaka explained.
“Japan emerged from a devastating situation after the Second World War, and Rwanda is doing the same after what happened here. We are ready to cooperate in terms of development, especially since both our economies are based on agriculture.”
The new Swedish envoy, Ann Dismorr, noted that it is impressive that her country is upgrading their mission in Rwanda to a full Embassy – a clear decision that Sweden wants to broaden their relationship with this country.
“Recently the Swedish government approved a new strategy for development cooperation with Rwanda, and we are focusing on areas such as human rights and democracy, natural resources and environment as well as research, among others,” Dismorr said.
“We will also closely follow the process leading to the elections and the election itself.”
In relation to Rwanda’s development progress, the Philippines’ new Ambassador to Rwanda, Domingo D. Lucenario, said that, back in his country, Rwanda’s leadership is highly commended for the remarkable progress it has registered. He added that the areas of partnership will include agricultural development, health, education and sports among others.
Tunisia’s Mohamed Messaoud said that, just as Tunisia stands out to be a model of development in North Africa, Rwanda has proved to be the model for central Africa. He noted that both countries can now learn from each other’s success stories.
Based on Africa’s major challenge of peace building across the continent, the Namibian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Japhet Isaack, said that bilateral relations are key to finding solutions.
“We have a long journey in building African unity. This starts with one step, and that is what we are looking at. First, establish bilateral relations and hold each other’s hands, then together, we can all build it to the international forum.”
Indonesia is now represented by Yudhistiranto Sungadi who thanked the Rwandan government for good bilateral relations with his country that have existed over the past years.