5 December 2018

Rwanda: Kagame Receives Credentials From Nine New Envoys

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday received credentials from nine new ambassadors who will be accredited to Rwanda representing India, Austria, Angola, Indonesia, Brazil,Slovakia, Australia, Argentina and the Philippines.

They include Oscar Kerketta, the High Commissioner of India to Rwanda; Christian Fellner of Austria; Eduardo Filomeno Leiro Octavio of Angola and Ratlan Pardede of Indonesia.

Kagame also received Alison Helena Chartres of Australia; Fernando Estellita Lins de Salvo Coimbra of Brazil; František Dlhopolček of Slovakia; Martin Gómez Bustillo of Argentina; and Uriel Garibay of Philippines.

The envoys of India and Angola will have residence in Kigali while those of Austria, Australia, Brazil, Slovakia, Argentina and Philippines will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Indonesian Ambassador will reside in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

After presenting their letters of credence, the envoys said in subsequent interviews that they intend to scale up relations between their countries and Rwanda and prioritise areas like education, agriculture, mining, commercial trade, health and energy, among others.

Kerketta, who is the first resident High Commissioner of India to Rwanda, told members of the press that his appointment was a fulfilment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise when he visited Rwanda back in July.

Modi's two-day state visit to Rwanda was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Austria's Ambassador to Rwanda Christian Fellner said that his appointment marks the beginning of the many activities that will take place between the two countries, some of which will begin this week.

Fellner highlighted that a business delegation, parliamentarians and other high-level members of the Austrian government are expected in Rwanda.

The business delegation, he said, will come from medical and energy fields as well as manufacturing of cable cars.

Vienna will, on December 18, host a High-Level Forum Africa-Europe that will be co-chaired by President Kagame and his counterpart Sebastian Kurz. It will bring together heads of state and government, foreign affairs ministers and other delegates.

Kurz is currently the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria and holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Alison Helena Chartres of Australia said that her task was to promote trade and investment between the two countries.

"We have important trade and investment opportunities that I hope we can grow and ensure it flourishes," she said.

Currently, Rwanda benefits from the Australian initiative under which Australia granted a zero-tariff treatment known as "Special Preferential Tariff Treatment/SPT programme" for products from developing countries.

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