VILLAGE URUGWIRO - President Paul Kagame yesterday met a high-level delegation from Austria at Village Urugwiro, where he expressed appreciation for the support rendered by Austria to Rwanda in the critical area of water and sanitation. The President further called for continued engagement and scaling up of cooperation in this initiative as well as in other sectors including trade and investment. The delegation was led by Austria’s Secretary of State for European and International Affairs, Hans Winker. “The purpose of my visit was to sign an agreement for the second phase of support for the Austrian Development Cooperation for water projects,” said Winker shortly after meeting the President. He noted that Austria would help Rwanda in its determination to develop its water resources.
The agreement, signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation on Thursday, is worth about 2.2 million Euros.
Winker said his was the first official visit by an Austrian politician to Rwanda in more 10 years.
“It was high time that we strengthened our partnership,” he observed, adding that there were possibilities of the two countries working together more in the future. Apart from water and sanitation, Austria also supports Rwanda’s judiciary, especially Gacaca.
Winker pointed out that his country has supported the Gacaca process with funds – a long term project worth ‘a few hundred thousand Euros.’ He added that Austria’s support was not only in monetary terms but that other areas of cooperation would be pursued.
Rosemary Museminali, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation who was also present, told journalists that the current good relations would be enhanced.
Museminali also revealed that the Austrians had requested Rwanda to support Austrian candidacies in the UN.
Winker was accompanied by Irene Freudenschuss-Reichl, Director General for Development Cooperation, and Roland Hauser, Austria’s Ambassador to Rwanda.