Minister Biruta delivers keynote address during the reception for the 60th Birthday of Emperor NARUHITO

Kigali, 20 February 2020 - The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Vincent Biruta joins Japanese community living in Rwanda to celebrate the 60th Birthday of His Majesty Naruhito, the Emperor of Japan.

Speaking at the reception, Minister Biruta wished good health and happiness to the Emperor of Japan and his Imperial family, adding that Rwanda and Japan have enjoyed excellent relations since 1962.

Minister Biruta said that 2019 was an important year for Rwanda and Japan bilateral cooperation with two visits of His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda to Japan.

“The first visit took place in January 2019 and led to the signing of grant agreement with JICA of almost 27 million US Dollar for a project to strengthen the Nzove - Ntora Principal Water Transmission Pipeline in the City of Kigali. This project will help us to improve on the water distribution in our capital city and keep us on course to achieving universal access to water by 2024.

In August, the same year, our two countries signed an important loan agreement of approximately 91 million US Dollar to improve nutrition through agricultural transformation. Supporting our policy on nutrition improvement, this loan will contribute to our efforts to tackle malnutrition across the country by setting up nutrition-sensitive agriculture guidelines and strengthening the availability of protein-rich food. It will also enable Rwanda to research more in improving the production of nutrient-rich foods and conduct community awareness on nutrition improvement.” said Minister Biruta

Minister Biruta emphasised that in 2019, Rwanda also partnered with Japan to launch its first Rwandan-made satellite prototype - Rwasat-One - which is expected to be deployed into orbit this year. “This is the beginning of our Space Programme and we are glad to count on the support of Japan in this ambitious and innovative project.” He added.

The Minister further stated that in terms of investments, Rwanda has registered more than 21 million US dollar worth of investment, which created 178 jobs. These investments are in agro-processing, restauration, horticulture, mining; ICT and service sectors. He also said that currently there are 27 Japanese companies doing business in Rwanda. “We hope that in 2020, we will increase this number and create even more business opportunities between our two countries.” He added.

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