By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
The Government of Rwanda and Rhineland Palatinate celebrated 40 years of partnership in a colourful ceremony that brought together high level officials including Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Vincent Biruta, Malu Dreyer, Minister President of Rhineland Palatinate and many other guests of honors.
The event was celebrated in the form of the panel session to reflect on the past accomplishments and the future of the partnership, entertainment by national barrette -Urukereza, then keynote speeches from Chief Guest and Guest of Honour after which they proceeded with the cocktail reception
In his welcome remarks, Rwanda’s Minister of Local Government Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianney, said that Rwanda and Rhineland-Palatinate partnership was fruitful since 1982 despite the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that occurred a decade after Rwanda and Rhineland-Palatinate partnership was inked.
Minister Gatabazi reminded that “The 40th anniversary celebrations in Rwanda begun with Rhineland Palatinate visit to Nyanza Memorial Centre to pay tribute to the victims of the genocide against Tutsi.”
“We thank H.E Malu Dreyer and her delegation for this visit to see for themselves what befell Rwanda in 1994 and how we have rebuilt our Country under the able and visionary leadership of H.E Kagame Paul, President of Rwanda.” He added
The German delegation also visited the BioNTek project and signed the Letter of Intent with the Ministry of Education in the areas of Biotechnology, met the Deputy Speakers of Rwanda’s Parliament, and visited the grassroot projects supported in Gicumbi District.
Speaking at the event, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Biruta said that the celebration of the past 40 years is “an opportunity to evaluate current partnerships but also discuss future perspectives and formulate new joint areas of cooperation and disseminate achievements of the partnership.”
Minister Biruta explained that “Twinning & Partnership has been operational in 6 Sectors of the City of Kigali, 38 Sectors in Southern Province, 51 Sectors in Northern Province, 43 Sectors in Western Province and 36 Sectors in Eastern Province.”
“In the education sector, 377 Schools (including 16 TVETs constructed and supported) are partnering with Rhineland Palatinate Schools with the main focus on the construction of classrooms & latrines, computer labs and equipment, construction and equipment of dining halls, dormitories, libraries, rain water harvesting tanks, supporting the sport academies and material, supporting the centers for children with disabilities.” He said.
“In the religious sector, 3 Dioceses and 13 parishes are working closely with their counterparts in the Rhineland Palatinate. In Health, the projects were on construction and equipment of health centers, providing the ambulances, and supporting the poor people with health insurance through parishes.” He added.
Minister Biruta highlighted that “As we celebrate 40 years of historical excellent bilateral relations between our two States, more than 2,000 projects estimated at around 100 million Euros have been initiated, implemented, and completed under this twinning and partnership program mainly in health, social welfare, education and income generating projects, among others.”