KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua)
-- The British minister for the Department
for International Development (DFID) arrived in the Rwandan capital
Kigali on Monday to further cement bilateral relations with the
small central African country.
Upon his arrival, James
Wharton, travelled to Musanze district, Northern Province, where he
met with the governor of the province and the district mayor, as
well as toured UK-funded development and social protection programs.
Wharton is visiting Rwanda for the first time since he took
office in July this year.
According to a statement from the UK High Commission, the visit
will focus on areas of mutual interest between the two countries,
including poverty reduction, education, trade and investment.
The trip is viewed as a positive step towards improving trade and
economic cooperation between the two nations.
During his visit, Wharton, who oversees development aid in
Africa, will hold bilateral talks with several Rwanda government
"I am looking forward to seeing first-hand the remarkable
progress that Rwanda has made over the last twenty years. I am proud
that the UK has been able to support Rwanda on this
journey—contributing to its achievement of lifting over 1.5 million
people out of poverty in recent years," said Wharton in a statement.
He stated that UK plans to maintain its commitment to support
Rwanda and the region for mutual interest between the two parties.
Rwanda is one of 19 African countries that is a member of the
The UK, through the DFID, is one of Rwanda’s largest bilateral
development partners and key backers of the country’s second
Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRSII).
Kigali has won international praise over the years for its
effective use of aid that has allowed the country to turn around its
economy following the 1994 genocide.
UK provides nearly 70 million pounds a year through DFID aimed at
economic and social transformation of Rwanda.
Rwanda and UK launch project
to improve agriculture production
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
A new project aimed at improving Rwanda’s agriculture
sector through commercialized farming was launched Tuesday by the
government of Rwanda and the British government.
The six-year project worth 23.5 million pounds (about 30.55
million U.S. dollars), was unveiled by visiting British Minister for
the Department for International Development (DFID) James Wharton at
the Kigali Convention Centre in the Rwandan capital.
The venture, dubbed Improving Market Systems for Agriculture in
Rwanda (IMSAR), is funded by the British government through DFID. It
will focus on increasing the income of poor households in targeted
agricultural market systems.
Speaking to reporters after the launch, Geraldine Mukeshimana,
Rwanda minister of agriculture and animal resources, said that
Rwanda has embarked on a campaign to transform agriculture from
subsistence farming to commercial farming by sensitizing its
citizens about farming techniques to increase productivity.
Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of the country’s GDP,
employing about 80 percent of the total population. It contributes
47 percent of Rwanda’s domestic goods and exports.
Rwanda sets up national body
to promote cross-border trade
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda has set up a national committee that will
promote cross-border trade through strengthening areas of
transparency and fairness, good governance and modernization of the
trade supply chain.
The national panel, dubbed National Trade Facilitation Committee
(NTFC), was unveiled on Friday by the ministry of trade and industry
in the country’s capital, Kigali.
The committee has been introduced in line with the World Trade
Organization pact, which aims at easing customs norms for faster
clearance of goods to boost exports.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the launch, Francois Kanimba,
Rwanda minister of trade and industry, said that trade facilitations
have gained more importance with the reduction of tariffs and the
proliferation of global production chains.
"The committee will play a key role in the coordination of
implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement at national
"The panel seeks to simplify trade procedures and help promote
cross-border trade and the overall climate for trade and investment
in Rwanda," he added.
According to trade experts, the NTFC has a huge potential to
reduce trade costs, thereby boosting trade between Rwanda and trade
partners across the globe.
The Global Competitiveness report 2016/17 published by the World
Economic Forum (WEF) early this week shows that Rwanda improved six
positions to rank 52nd out of 138 countries globally.
The country also remains third in Africa after Mauritius and
Rwanda and UN launch joint
drive to help refugees become self-reliant
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
The Rwandan government and the UN’s refugee agency
announced a new joint strategy on Monday geared to help refugees
live productive lives despite their status.
The 2016-2020 strategy seeks to ensure that all refugees and
neighbouring communities are afforded ways to become self-reliant
and able to contribute to the economic development of the host
Speaking at the launch, Jacob Oster, livelihoods officer at UNHCR,
said the strategy would make refugee camps vibrant socially and
economically with active markets, shops, restaurants, and cottage
factories run by refugees and host communities.
This would create jobs for host communities within and beyond the
districts where refugee camps are situated, he said.
Rwanda is home to more than 150,000 refugees of various
nationalities living in six camps spread across the country.
The move comes days after world leaders at the UN General
Assembly made a similar proposal to support 21 million refugees as
well as more than 40 million internally displaced people worldwide.
Under the project, Rwanda and the UNHCR would partner with
private sector federation and individual companies to set up cottage
industries for the production of goods and services required by
refugees and host communities while offering jobs to people with
The overall aim is to wean refugees or host community members off
Seraphine Mukantabana, Rwanda’s minister of disaster management
and refugee affairs, described the launch as timely and in line with
her country’s commitment to receive refugees and make them as
comfortable as possible.
The development supplements another program that enables refugees
in Rwanda to acquire degrees from U.S. universities through Kepler
University in Kigali.
Rwanda seeks more investments
in manufacturing sector
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda wants to attract more foreign and local
investments into manufacturing and other value-added industries to
boost the country’s manufacturing sector, officials have said.
Emmanuel Hategeka, permanent secretary for trade and industry,
told reporters on Monday that the country has laid out a strategy to
promote Made-in-Rwanda products which will be successful with
massive investments in the local manufacturing.
He was speaking during a meeting with local manufacturers and
agro-processing firms in Kigali aimed at promoting locally made
"We are looking at seeing an increase in number of investments in
manufacturing industry to boost the growth of locally made Rwanda
products for export," he added. "It’s vital to see value-added
processing activities taking place in Rwanda. Investment is what
makes economies successful."
Rwanda has laid strategies to expand the domestic value chain and
to create a good business climate that favors the growth of
investments in the industrial and manufacturing sector in Rwanda.
In an effort to reduce the trade deficit and to spur economic
growth, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has created multiple
strategies to generate off-farm employment by developing key sectors
like manufacturing and industry.
Serge Kamuhinda, RDB chief operations officer, said that Rwanda
offers a variety of investment opportunities in the manufacturing
sector and other sectors of the economy.
"The most rich and powerful countries across the globe attribute
to their wealth from manufacturing. Made in Rwanda products is a
large-scale campaign intended to boost the manufacturing sector,
create jobs and enhance economic growth," he noted.
World Bank rankings show Rwanda as one of the easiest places to
do business in Africa, after Mauritius and South Africa.
According to the second Economic Development and Poverty
Reduction Strategy, Rwanda projects an annual economic growth rate
of 11.5 percent by 2018, which will help drive the country into a
middle income economy with the GPD per capita of 1,240 U.S. dollars.
World Bank funds
infrastructure improvement in Rwanda’s secondary cities
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda Tuesday launched of a project worth 95 million
U.S. dollars to develop road and sanitation infrastructure in six
designated secondary cities funded by the World Bank loan.
The project dubbed Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP), will
also see upgrading of one unplanned settlement in Kigali City’s
Nyarugenge district, over the next five years.
The project is expected to benefit more than 88,000 people in the
six secondary cities and 19,000 residents in Nyarugenge district
whose unplanned settlements will be upgraded on 86 hectares.
Under the implementation of RUDP, 81 kms of paved roads and 44
kms of drainage will be built in six designated secondary cities of
Muhanga, Huye, Rubavu, Rusizi, Nyagatare, and Musanze, according to
Speaking at the launch, Mesky Brhane, a senior urban specialist
at the World Bank and the bank’s program and team leader on the RUDP
project said key stakeholders were involved in the design of the
initiative to ease its implementation.
"I am very confident that the implementation of the project will
be very smooth," she said.
James Musoni, Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure said government
expects the project to bring benefits to citizens and the economy as
it is expected to attract private investment.
Rwanda to host UN summit on
phasing out ozone-depleting gases
NAIROBI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda will next month host a UN summit that will
inject fresh impetus in efforts to phase out gases that deplete the
ozone layer, the UN Environment Program (UNEP) announced on Friday.
UNEP said in a statement issued in Nairobi that representatives
from 197 countries that are party to the Montreal Protocol on
substances that deplete the ozone layer will attend the Oct. 10-14
"Parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in Kigali, Rwanda in
a bid to reach an important agreement that could prevent a global
temperature rise of up to 0.5 degrees by the end of this century
while continuing to protect the ozone layer," read the statement.
The UN member states in 1987 ratified the Montreal Protocol to
revitalize the momentum toward phasing out production of chemicals
that harmed the ozone layer.
Since it came into force in 1989, the protocol has undergone
several amendments in line with evolving geopolitical and economic
Ozone depleting substances that are targeted for elimination
include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs)
that are widely used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
The statement indicated the Kigali meeting will discuss
amendments to the Montreal Protocol to support phasing out or
replacement of ozone depleting substances.
It added the representatives are expected to reach a consensus on
curbing production and use of substances that are detrimental to the
health of the ozone layer.
Rwanda calls for more
commitment to prevent greenhouse gases
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
The world should pass an ambitious amendment to the
Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances, which would
represent the most significant global action to reduce climate
change since the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
Rwanda made the call on the occasion of marking the International
Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer Thursday.
More than 1,000 international leaders and ozone preservation and
low carbon development experts are expected in Rwanda next month for
the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, known as
The MOP28 will take place from Oct. 6-14 at the Kigali Convention
Participants will discuss an amendment to the Montreal Protocol
which, if passed, will result in the early phase down of
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) -- strong greenhouse gases used mainly in
refrigeration, solvents, propellants and aerosols with a high global
A successful amendment to the protocol would signal the
international community’s commitment to practical action to achieve
the goals of the Paris Agreement—limiting global warming to 2
degrees Celsius, and the more ambitious target of 1.5 degrees
Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Natural Resources said in a
statement Thursday that his government looks forward to welcoming
all Parties to the Montreal Protocol to Kigali in the spirit of
"We are pleased to see so many countries supporting an ambitious
amendment, and are confident that it will be passed when we meet in
Kigali in October. Rwanda stands ready to work with all Parties to
find common ground and make the amendment a reality," Biruta said.
The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement that protects the
ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances responsible
for ozone depletion and climate change.
There has been a 98 percent reduction in ozone depleting
chemicals globally thanks to the Montreal Protocol, and the ozone
layer is now healing and expected to recover by 2050.