Five awarded for contribution to deepen relations between Rwanda and Japan

On 1 August 2022 at 07:48

Since 1962, the Government of Japan has remained a great development partner of Rwanda in numerous areas. For the past 60 years, Japan has hugely contributed to Rwanda’s development with funding allocated to different projects among other initiatives to serve interests of both countries’ people.

The funds have been allocated for the advancement of different sectors including technology, agriculture, health, investment, education and social protection initiatives.

In light of celebrations of cordial relations dating back 60 years ago, the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda recently organized a ceremony to award some of Rwandans and Japans who played a big role in strengthening bilateral relations.

The individuals awarded on Wednesday 27th July 2022, include Guy Rurangayire who committed to promote martial arts through Japan Karate Association; Daniel Niyogushimwa who owns a local restaurant that prepares Japanese cuisine and Charles Mafigi Sinamenye representing Umuco Mwiza School, a Child Development Center (ECD).

Other awardees include a Japanese Yoshiyuki SATO, the CEO of Organic Solutions which helps the society in agriculture sector and in improving hygiene as well as Prof. Yukiko ITO who played a critical role in documenting Rwanda’s resilience journey.

Promoting agriculture

Agriculture is among areas of development that got boost throughout the 60 years of relations between Rwanda and Japan.

In 2008, Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) launched Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD).

Under this project, JICA brought experts from Japan to train farmers on best farming techniques for increased yields.

Japan has been also helping farmers in commercialization of their produce to be exported to the country.

Yoshiyuki SATO is among investors helping local farmers to export Macadamia in Japan and the United States of America (USA).

He also contributes to the exportation of gentian flower originating from Japan and grown in Rwanda.

Currently, Yoshiyuki is helping Rwandan farmers to access quality fertilizer.

He commended the existing cooperation and relationships between Rwanda and Japan.


Throughout the 60 years of relations, Japanese have massively invested in the Country of Thousand Hills.

To date, Rwanda registers a large number of companies from Japan in various areas such as construction and ICT.

For instance, Toyota car manufacturer from Japan has dealers in Rwanda and offers after-sales services in Kigali.

Japanese also established a restaurant dubbed Japanda which prepares Japanese cuisine. It is currently run by Daniel Niyogushimwa who was awarded as Japanese Cuisine Ambassador.


Education is among pillars of national development. To contribute to the advancement of the education sector, Japan offers scholarships to Rwandans to pursue studies in different fields including agriculture, technology and health among others.

To date, over 800 Rwandans who studied in Japan have established an association helping them to concert efforts to contribute to national development.

Prof. Yukiko ITO from Japan has been conducting research in Rwanda for several years.

She observed that Rwanda’s transformations for the past 28 years after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi leaves lessons of resilience and good governance to his country.


Through JICA, Japan has been contributing to Rwanda’s efforts to promote technology by working with promising tech startups.

In this regard, JICA funded different projects including but not limited to 250 Starts-Up and Hanga pitch Fest, a competition for tech startups organized last year among others.

Japan has also contributed to the construction of innovation centers in secondary cities expected to foster the creation of innovation and jobs.

These centers have so far been constructed in the districts of Musanze, Rusizi and Rwamagana among others.

Speaking at the awarding ceremony, the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Masahiro Imai said that the 60 years of relationships between both countries have been fruitful to their people and stressed the need to take existing cooperation to greater heights.

“It proves that vibrant relations are not limited to diplomatic engagements between ambassadors and ministers but should have roots from relations between citizens. We remain committed to deepen bilateral relations and increase investment opportunities between the two countries,” he noted.

Phillip Karenzi, the Director General of Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation thanked Japan for walking with Rwanda along the development journey and stressed the need to strengthen relations for the benefits of both countries’ people.

Didier Guy Rurangayire was commended for promoting Karate.
Charles Mafigi Sinamenye representing Umuco Mwiza School receiving an award during the event.
Prof. Yukiko ITO who has been conducting research in Rwanda for several years has been also awarded.
Japanese Yoshiyuki SATO was awarded for role in deepened relations between both countries.
Participants of the event in a group photo.
ITO commended Rwandans' resilience.
Phillip Karenzi, the Director General of Asia and Pacific Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation thanked Japan for walking with Rwanda along the development journey.
Anicet Rwama heads the association of Rwandans who studied in Japan. He was among participants of the event.
Daniel Niyogushimwa who owns a local restaurant that prepares Japanese cuisine is among awardees.