URUGWIRO VILLAGE - Two new ambassadors yesterday presented their credentials to President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village.
The two envoys, Elmar Timpe of Germany and Oded Ben-Haim of Israel will now represent their respective countries in Rwanda, with the former’s seat in Kigali while the latter will be based in Addis Ababa.
Timpe’s appointment as the new German Ambassador to Rwanda was approved by the Cabinet in May.
He replaces Christian Clages who was sent home by the Government of Rwanda last year following the arrest in Germany of the Director State Protocol, Rose Kabuye.
Timpe’s appointment is seen as a sign that the two countries have fully restored bilateral relations that were affected by Kabuye’s arrest.
Prior to his appointment, Timpe was the Chargé des Affaires at the German Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Speaking to the Press shortly after the ceremony, Timpe said that he is upbeat about the new developments and the prospect of the two countries restoring traditional good relations.
“I was well received by the President and we agreed that we should do more to restore relations which are traditionally very good, and that the dent of the relations which happened some months ago be removed to further deepen our ties,” Timpe told the press.
He said that his country will continue working with the Rwandan government to promote socio-development initiatives aimed at fighting poverty, adding that the focus of the cooperation will be on three major areas.
These including carrying out administrative reforms and supporting the decentralisation programme, democracy and civil society while in healthcare support will go towards family planning and AIDS prevention.
He noted that the German Parliament recently approved increasing budget support to Rwanda and more funds will be dedicated to supporting sustainable economic growth in the country.
“Rwanda is a very important partner for us in Africa. It is a case study of development aid in Africa and we want to be supportive of Rwanda’s plan to become a regional hub in all aspects of economic development.”
Timpe, who has served in different African countries for the past decade, commended the rate of progress and the tremendous reconstruction the country has undergone in the last 15 years, citing cleanliness and infrastructure development as those that have improved greatly.
Meanwhile, Oded Ben-Haim, the Israeli envoy said that Rwanda and his country share much in common, especially the history of Genocide, adding that the two countries share the same destiny and development path.
He added that Israel investors are also eying Rwanda as a potential area of investment, pledging to continue wooing potential investors to Rwanda as well as tourists.