19 January 2011

Rwanda: Outgoing British Envoy Calls on Kagame

Kigali — The outgoing British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Nicholas Cannon, yesterday, called on President Paul Kagame to bid him farewell.

Cannon has been the British envoy to Rwanda for the last three years, and during his tenure, relations between the countries have grown tremendously, according to officials.

Speaking to The New Times after meeting President Kagame, Cannon praised the country's development and said that despite Vision 2020 being highly ambitious, it is very likely that the set targets will be achieved.

Cannon also highlighted some of the events that have taken place while he served as British envoy, pointing out Rwanda's accession to the Commonwealth.

"It was a great experience for me to work here in Rwanda and I will have happy memories of this country and its warm people," he said.

Cannon revealed that, while meeting President Kagame, they took the opportunity to review bilateral relations between the two countries.

"The relations between Rwanda and UK are not only positive, but are evolving continuously in a positive direction," he said.

Cannon also discussed investment opportunities with the President and how best the two governments can attract British investors to Rwanda.

The UK has been among Rwanda's leading development partners. Today, the UK's support to Rwanda totals £46 million, annually, much of it, channeled directly to the budget.

"We are very comfortable with the way the budget support is used; in fact, we are very positive about the way development systems are being used here," Cannon said.

"We think that Rwanda is a model development partner and most probably we would increase our budget support."

Meanwhile, Benedict Llewellyn-Jones has been named as a replacement for Cannon.

Llewellyn-Jones joined the British Civil Service in 2000 and has served in the UK's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and as Head of the Zimbabwe team in London.

Upon his appointment, Llewellyn-Jones said he felt proud of his new assignment.

"I feel very proud and privileged to be appointed the UK's next High Commissioner to Rwanda," Llewellyn-Jones said.

"I look forward to representing the United Kingdom in Rwanda and ensuring the UK remains a close friend and strong development partner for the Government and people of Rwanda."

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