President Paul Kagame yesterday received credentials of three Ambassadors who will be accredited to Kigali on behalf of their respective countries in Rwanda.
The new envoys Gladstone Dumisane Gwadiso of South Africa, Juhani Toivonen of Finland and Margita Fuchsova of the Czech Republic, officially handed in their appointment letters to Kagame at Urugwiro Village.
The South African Ambassador is based in Kigali, the Finish in Dar-es-Salaam while the Czech Envoy will be carrying out her diplomatic responsibilities from Nairobi.
Prior to his appointment Gwadiso was South Africa’s envoy in Ivory Coast and he replaces the outgoing Ambassador Ezra M. Sigwela who left at the end of 2008.
Toivonen is also the Finish Ambassador to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Gwadiso pledged to strengthen bilateral relations between his country and Rwanda during his time in office and will also oversee several projects where Rwanda is cooperating with South Africa.
“Initially Rwanda has had strong partnership with South Africa, especially in the areas of health and trade. During my time in office, all these partnership will continue to prevail,” Gwadiso pledged.
He noted that under the Trilateral Arrangement between Rwanda, South Africa and Cuba, there are plans to venture into education and water and he will commit to see to it that all these partnerships implemented.
Toivonen also pledged to improve the relations between Rwanda and Finland from his office in Dar-es-Salaam. He said that a Finish Consulate which has opened in Rwanda will be working with the Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam to foster the relations.
“We are not only considering Rwanda to benefit from the local Corporation Fund available from the Finnish Government, but we also anticipate that the bilateral relations will be further strengthened by the new Consulate,” Toivonen told the Press after presenting his credentials.
He added that Finland is contributing to the East African Community Partnership Fund of which Rwanda is a member. The new envoy added that he will push for the two countries to explore possibilities of bilateral trade.
“I am sure Rwanda’s delicious coffee is a commodity this country can benefit from by exporting it to Finland. We are the greatest coffee drinkers in the world,” he added.
He noted that the two countries share warm relations and partnerships, citing an example of how Finland supplies equipment to Contour Global, the American Company extracting Methane Gas in Lake Kivu.
The Czech envoy revealed that her country is discussing with Rwanda possible partnerships where her country will come in to support health and sanitation programmes in the country.
“I have invited President Kagame to come and visit the Czech Republic and he also told me that Karel Kavanda is still remembered as one of the people who made a call to the International Community to intervene fast and halt the Genocide as it unfolded during 1994,” said Fuchsova.
Kavanda was the Czech Ambassador to Rwanda when the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi broke out.
She said the Czech Republic, which is a new member of the European Union, will seek ways of improving its bilateral relations with Rwanda, adding that the two countries have a lot to share, especially in culture and economy.
Fuchsova, who will be returning to Rwanda in two months time to discuss further the relations between the two countries, said that Rwanda’s achievements in 15 years and the zero-tolerance stance on corruption are very positive attributes.