By Jean de la Croix Tabaro
The Kigali Special Economic Zone and the agriculture sector are to receive new multimillion dollar cash injections – courtesy of agreements signed Monday evening in Kigali.
The new financing is part of eight cooperation agreements sealed between President Paul Kagame and his latest guest Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The agreements were signed by ministers on both sides – just less than three hours after Modi landed in Kigali.
The economic zone will get $100m and the other portion will go to expanding the country’s food production. Both are lines of credit.
Six other agreements were also signed between both countries.
They include; cooperation in defense, trade cooperation framework, cultural exchange program, amendment of MoU on cooperation on agriculture and animal resources and a MoU on leather products development. The two sides also penned agreement on agriculture development and education.
After witnessing the signing with his guest, President Kagame said that Rwanda and India have a special bond.
“On the global stage, Rwanda and India share a commitment to peace and security as major troop contributors to United Nations peacekeeping missions,” Kagame said.
“We are pleased that an Indian business delegation has accompanied the Prime Minister. Our respective private sectors will discuss the prospects for collaboration between Rwanda and India at tomorrow’s business summit.”
Kagame thanked Modi for a gift of 200 cattle that will be delivered to Rweru village in Bugesera district this Tuesday. Kagame confirmed that he will accompany the Indian PM to Rweru.
For his part, Modi thanked President Kagame for taking Rwanda from the abyss following the the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that left more than a million dead. He said Kagame’s “able leadership” is what enabled Rwanda to make it.
Modi said; “It is a matter of pride that India has been an economic partner of Rwanda.”
He added; “We shall continue to contribute to economic development for Rwanda; in financial management, rural development, ICT and agriculture to mention but a few.”
PM Modi promised that his country will increase capacity building support for Rwanda – citing the development of an online syllabus for hundreds of students who have had to travel thousands of kilometers to India for further studies.
On trade cooperation, Modi said a scheduled forum with the business community tomorrow Tuesday, “will help to further trade relations between both countries.”
Indian PM also announced his country will soon open a high commission in Rwanda. The embassy in Uganda also covers Rwanda.
Rwanda has had a high commission in New Delhi for many years, currently manned by Ernest Rwamucyo as envoy.