The United Kingdom’s minister for Africa, Rory Stewart is in Rwanda for his first official visit to the country, according to the kingdom’s High Commission.
According to a statement by the UK High Commission in Rwanda, Stewart will hold meetings with representatives from the government of Rwanda to discuss areas of mutual interest for the two countries.
The discussions, according to the statement, will touch on development partnership, economic growth, trade and the Commonwealth.
“As well as meeting leaders, Stewart's visit will cover a number of existing UK aid funded projects which are promoting poverty reduction and increasing economic growth and inclusion,” reads part of the statement.
Stewart is also in charge of the UK Department for International Development (DfID).
While in Rwanda, he will see the impact of DfID programmes on improving access to land and strengthening land rights, as well as their work to extend financial services to some of the poorest people in Rwanda.
“I am proud that the UK has been able to support Rwanda on this journey – contributing to its achievement of lifting almost a quarter of a million people out of poverty since 2010.- and it is great to see the strong partnership that we’ve built. Investing in peace, development and security in Rwanda is essential for stability in the Great Lakes and in both Rwanda’s and the UK’s long term interests,” he said ahead of his visit.
In Rubavu, Stewart will see how UK aid, channelled through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) Rwanda, is helping to break down barriers and cut red tape, making it easier for businesses to trade across the East Africa Corridor.
He will observe progress on the construction of the cross-border market and speak to local cross-border traders and customs officials. He is keen to see first-hand the opportunities for increasing trade between Rwanda and the DRC and the challenges currently being addressed to facilitate trade between the two countries.
This is the first official visit to Rwanda by a UK government minister since the UK General Election took place in June 2017.