Africa We Want

ZIMBABWE – RWANDA: RELATIONS CONTINUE TO GROW

RELATIONS between Zimbabwe and Rwanda continue to grow exponentially, with President Mnangagwa and his counterpart President Paul Kagame having set clear goals for the two countries to upscale bilateral relations, Chief Director Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Mr Pearson Chigiji, has said. Over the years, relations between Harare and Kigali have been characterised by increased cooperation in various fields, including political, health, economic and educational spheres. By Wallace Ruzvidzo, Herald reporter

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ministry chief director for Political Affairs, Michael Chigiji (right), delivers his opening remarks, while flanked by Rwanda’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe James Musoni during the Zimbabwe-Rwanda mid-term review meeting on the 2nd Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Memory Mangombe.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe-Rwanda Mid-Term Review, which ends in Harare today, Mr Chigiji said relations between the two countries continued to grow in leaps and bounds.

“Firstly, allow me to acknowledge the excellent bilateral relations that subsist between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Republic of Rwanda. I am pleased to say that since we embarked on the journey of our Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation in 2020, our relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. In addition, the
continued engagements byent Commission on Cooperation in 2020, our relationship continues to grow from strength to strength. In addition, the continued engagements by our two Presidents at various fora and the continued exchange of highlevel visits, testify to our blossoming relationship.

“As we are all aware, we are gathered here today to review and assess the progress of work of the decisions of the 2nd Session of our JPCC that was held in May 2023. In this regard, I am pleased to say that, after going through our implementation matrix, I have been convinced that most of our areas of cooperation have been up to the task,.

Mr Chigiji said Zimbabwe and Rwanda were engaging at all levels right from Head of State level, something which was important for the continuous upscaling of relations.

“One of the many recent engagements by our two Heads of State relates to the visit to Zimbabwe by His Excellency President Paul Kagame in April 2023.

“President Kagame participated at the Transform Africa Summit, which took place in Victoria Falls from April 26 to 28, 2023. This summit was attended by several Heads of State and various key stakeholders, where fruitful discussions on how the continent could harness the power of digital information communication technologies towards sustainable economic development were discussed.

“President Paul Kagame’s visit to Zimbabwe was preceded by His Excellency President Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to Rwanda in September 2022, where he participated in the African Green Revolution Forum, at the invitation of his counterpart.

“In July 2022, Honourable Dr Vincent Biruta held a memorable two-day Official Visit to Zimbabwe, at the invitation of his counterpart, Honourable Frederick Shava, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

“The visit resulted in the signing of three important Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the Fields of Air Transportation, Extradition and Immigration. In addition, our Deputy Minister, Sheilla Chikomo, was in Rwanda to attend the Rwanda/Zimbabwe Business Forum, which took place in March 2024,” he said.

Rwandan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr James Musoni, said the Mid-Term Review provided a platform for the two countries to take stock of the progress made in actioning various agreements.

“I would like to emphasise that as implementers, we are duty-bound to translate the wishes and aspirations of our leaders into practicable solutions.

“His Excellency President Paul Kagame and His Excellency President Mnangagwa have set clear goals for us to achieve without failure.

“The Midterm Review Meeting of the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation is a significant milestone in our continued efforts to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between our two great nations, Rwanda and Zimbabwe,” he said.

Ambassador Musoni took time to express Rwanda’s solidarity with Zimbabwe in light of the El Nino-induced drought.

“May I also take this opportunity, to express our solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe during this challenging period of severe drought caused by the El Nino-induced effects.

“Our thoughts are with you in these difficult times. As climate change worsens globally and in Southern Africa particularly, urgent actions on the climate emergency are imperative,” he said.

During the Mid-Term Review, Zimbabwe and Rwanda are expected to set timelines for the various outstanding Memoranda of Understanding.

“Both our sisterly nations are common members of several regional, continental and international organisations such as COMESA, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), among other organisations. I cannot overemphasise the need to use the JPCC as a stepping stone to further collaborate at the regional and global levels,” he said.

Author: MANZI
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