11 February 2002

Rwanda: Ties With UK to Be Further Strengthened

Clare Short, the UK International Development Secretary, will make a two-day visit to Rwanda this week to renew the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on development partnership, the Office of the President of Rwanda announced on Friday.

Short will be accompanied by Eveline Herfkens, Minister of Development Cooperation of The Netherlands, and Hilde Frafjord Johnson, Minister of International Development and Human Rights of Norway.

The MOU between Rwanda and the UK, originally signed in April 1999, sets commitments for the Rwandan government in the areas of national unity and reconciliation, good governance, poverty reduction measures, macroeconomic stability and human-resource development, according to the Office of the President of Rwanda, while the UK government's commitment has been to extend budgetary support for Rwanda. The Office of the President of Rwanda also reported that a similar cooperation agreement would be signed with the government of the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Tim Craddock, head of the UK's Department for International Development's Africa Great Lakes and Horn Department, praised the increasingly positive ties between the UK and Rwanda. "I think it is becoming a model partnership. It is one of the best partnerships we have with any of our partner countries in Africa," Craddock told Radio Rwanda in Kigali on Saturday.

"Rwanda became the 10th-largest recipient of British bilateral assistance last year, so it is a partnership that has become very important for us, and we are very pleased with the fact that it is working very well."

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