NYARUGENGE - The president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Sadako Ogata, has hailed Rwanda’s achievements and has pledged continued support to the country.
She made the remarks Thursday during a press conference after her meeting with foreign affairs minister, Rosemary Museminali.
Ogata, who was accompanied by several JICA officials, also expressed appreciation to the government for the hospitality she had received during her visit.
“You are moving well and there are lots of potential for moving even further,” she said.
Ogata was on Tuesday awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree by the National University of Rwanda – one of the reasons for her visit. This, she said was a “a very big honour that I cherish.”
Her visit also came as part of ‘a series of very important meetings on African development with Japan’s cooperation’ that she was following.
“Africa is growing and Japan is ready to help. We need to spread this message,” she said, pointing out priority areas of education, infrastructure, private and public partnerships.
Ogata added that apart from being honoured by NUR, her visit was aimed at updating her friendship with Rwandan leaders and officially opening Tumba College of Technology (TCT), a JICA funded project.
TCT offers courses in IT, electronics and alternative energy.
“The facilities have to be expanded and improved,” she said, adding that there was need for expanding TCT-like projects all over the country.
Pointing out education as a priority target, she insisted that “we still have a lot to do and expand.” According to Museminali, every province must and will have one such college.
As part of infrastructure development, JICA will help reconstruct Rusumo Bridge, a strategic infrastructure project on the border with Tanzania that will be turned into a one-stop border system.
“It is a very challenging concept that JICA is championing,” Ogata underscored. She revealed that a training programme is in progress to help facilitate the project, which when finalised will bring countries together and ease cross-border operations for mutual benefit.
At the end of the conference, Museminali presented Ogata with gifts in appreciation of her various efforts to help the country face its challenges.
“She went an extra mile beyond her traditional role as UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help Rwanda in resettlement, reintegration and in many other areas,” explained Museminali.