KIGALI - The Minister of Foreign affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo, and the Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Kunio Hatanaka, signed three grants worth $32million.
The grants are for the feasibility study of Rusumo Bridge and One Stop Border Post facilities, power substation and distribution network and a food security project for under privileged farmers.
Speaking after the signing, Mushikiwabo thanked the Japanese envoy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which will implement the projects.
Mushikiwabo reiterated the significance of Japan’s interventions and said that grants like these are a reflection of what matters for Rwanda.
“The rehabilitation of Rusumo Bridge is a critical in our integration process and speeding up of business. It will allow us to quickly function properly with the one stop border post,” she said.
The minister noted that Japanese approach of supporting Rwanda fits very well with the country’s development priorities.
Hatanaka explained that the grant extended to the food security project will be used to purchase fertilizers.
“These fertilisers will then be sold to Rwandan farmers at affordable prices, enabling them to expand crop production efficiently,” said the Ambassador,”
He added that the project will not only contribute to poverty eradication in rural areas, but also improve food security.
According to agreement, the proceeds from the sale of the fertilisers will be accumulated for future use of the Rwandan government in its socio-economic policies.
The project on improvement of power substations and distribution network is expected to contribute to the sustainable energy supply and improvement of electricity distribution in Kigali and other towns.
“Considering reliable energy supply is one of the pre-conditions of increase in foreign direct investment. This project will surely contribute to the betterment of the Rwandan business environment,” said Hatanaka.
Rwanda and Japan have an annual policy dialogue where they meet to discuss bilateral cooperation.
Mushikiwabo also took the opportunity, on behalf of the government, to convey a message of sympathy to the people of Japan after the earthquake and Tsunami earlier this month.
“We are with you, and we have followed closely what is happening to the people of Japan. We also appreciate the level of resilience of the Japanese people and for their courage to get through the tragic moments,” she said.