President Paul Kagame who is attending the 18th Forum on China-Africa cooperation has endorsed the Asian giant as a key partner in Rwanda’s development path.
China remains one of Rwanda’s development partner through a number of projects ranging from governance, infrastructure, cultural and security, among others.
In July this year, President Xi Jinping of China visited Rwanda where fifteen bilateral agreements between the Republic of Rwanda and The People’s Republic of China were signed.
The agreements covered a range of sectors including an agreement on mutual visa exemption for diplomatic and service passport holders, as well as those related to infrastructure development, Civil Air transport, e-Commerce, culture and scientific cooperation, human capacity development among others.
Among them was a bankable deal to finance construction of a 14km Highway that will connect Kigali to Bugesera International Airport.
The new highway which will cost $54 million upon completion will be built in partnership with People’s Republic of China.
In education sector, a number of Rwandan students have been sent to study specialized courses in China.
For instance, in August this year, the People’s Republic of China awarded scholarships to 12 Rwandan students who are expected to acquire skills the country needs most to develop further.
The beneficiaries will pursue human Medicine, Aeronautical engineering, Clinical medicine, Petroleum, Agriculture and Electricity engineering.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on China – Africa cooperation alongside other leaders, Kagame thanked China for backing Rwanda’s development agenda.
“On this note I wish to thank the People’s Republic of China and you President Xi Jinping, for the continued support my country has received in its development efforts,” he said.
The President, who is also the chairperson of the African Union, added that China’s new commitment to strengthen cooperation with Africa brings it closer to its goals.
“Of particular importance is that the Beijing Action Plan is intended to boost Africa and China’s existing development frameworks. The Forum’s expanded cooperation areas will surely bring us closer to our goals,” Kagame said.
During this year’s China-Africa cooperation forum, President Xi highlighted the country’s action plan on promoting closer cooperation with African countries in the fields of industry, investment, trade, infrastructure, health, culture, environmental protection and security, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit.
Among commitments made include; establishing the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in China, supporting the goal of basically achieving food security before 2030 as proposed by African countries, and provision of 1 billion yuan ($146.3 million) in emergency humanitarian aid to disaster-affected African countries.
In other commitments made, China will further promote infrastructure development in Africa, enhancing cooperation in the fields of energy, transportation and telecommunications.
China will also implement 50 projects on trade facilitation with African countries and establish 50 aid projects on green development and environmental protection.
Kagame said that: “Higher levels of long-term, private sector-led investment in key sectors of production in Africa is essential. The concrete targets offered by President Xi Jinping in this domain are very much welcome and appreciated.”
Going forward, Kagame said that what should be the focus now is implementation. “Our focus now should be implementation. This will require continuous engagement and attention from leaders at the highest level in between Summits.”