Rwanda, Japan commit to strengthen trade ties
President Kagame said that during the talks with the Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe, they chose trade and investments among key areas to strengthen.
“Our visit is an opportunity to learn more from each other, and further strengthen our strong bilateral ties, development cooperation as well. We also want to increase trade and investment between Rwanda and Japan,” he said.
Rwanda is also keen to learn from Japan’s experience in urbanisation as the country’s population grows.
“I wish to thank you for Japan’s support to the Kigali Urban Transport Improvement Plan. As Rwanda’s population grows and becomes more urbanised, we are keen to learn from Japan’s longstanding expertise and experience in city planning and urban transport,” the President said to his host.
The President also expressed appreciation for the Asian country’s support in multiple aspects, including agriculture, ICT, and infrastructure.
“I also want to thank you for Japan’s contribution to Rwanda’s human capacity development, through the Africa Business Education Initiative, which is benefitting young Rwandans,” he said.
The Head of State is on Wednesday expected to take part in a business forum as well as a roadshow to introduce Kigali Innovation City to the Japanese investor community.
Yesterday, Takayuki Miyashita, the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, and Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Richard Sezibera signed a grant aid project for improving the water supply in Kigali; the Nzove-Ntora Water Principal Pipeline.
Statistics from Rwanda Development Board indicate that the value of Japanese investments in Rwanda has grown to $21.46 million creating 178 jobs in agro-processing, horticulture, mining, ICT and service sectors.
As part of the visit, First Lady Jeannette Kagame was hosted to a working lunch by Mrs. Akie Abe, the wife to Prime Minister Abe.
The First Lady is today expected to take part in a cultural experience known as ‘Ikebana’, the art of flower arrangement, and thereafter pay a courtesy call on the Ashinaga Headquarters.
Ashinaga is a 50-year-old Japanese non-governmental organisation that aims to protect the rights of orphans and eradicate poverty, as well as provide support to orphans to access higher education.
The Ashinaga Africa Institute is currently supporting five Rwandan students, including two currently in Japan.