Rwanda, Cuba forge new avenues of collaboration

By Esther Muhozi
On 22 November 2023 at 10:30

The Vice Chairperson of RPF Inkotanyi political party, Consolée Uwimana, on November 21, 2023, welcomed Salvador Valdés Mesa, the Vice President of Cuba, to Rwanda for discussions covering a range of topics, notably focusing on establishing special partnerships between the youth and women’s forums of both countries.

Mesa, along with his delegation, conveyed greetings from the Cuban people and the Communist Party of Cuba.

Uwimana expressed gratitude on behalf of the party’s Chairperson, President Paul Kagame for the growing cooperation between Cuba and Rwanda. The collaboration, spanning education and health, has yielded significant results for both nations.

Uwimana highlighted the strides made in various sectors and the commitment to further advancements in technology, economy, and diplomacy.

Notably, he commended the educational exchange, including scholarships for Rwandan students to study medicine in Cuba. Despite the progress, Uwimana stressed the need for a continued and strengthened relationship, particularly between youth and women’s organizations.

Mesa echoed the sentiment, emphasizing Cuba’s interest in expanding cooperation beyond education and health. He underlined the importance of political dialogues to enhance relations across various sectors. The Vice President expressed the desire for collaboration in tourism, health technology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines.

Addressing the challenges posed by U.S. sanctions, Valdés Mesa explained the impact on Cuba’s stability and its ability to combat crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. He highlighted Cuba’s resilience, showcasing its expertise in producing medicine locally during challenging times. Mesa expressed the Cuban government’s focus on strengthening ties with friendly nations in the face of economic challenges.

Cuba’s prominent role in medicine, boasting over 100,000 specialized doctors and a life expectancy of 79.2 years. In 2021, Cuba sent over 30,000 doctors to assist nearly 60 countries worldwide. The cooperation agreement signed in September 2023 between Rwanda and Cuba further emphasized the commitment to political knowledge sharing and visa waivers for officials.

The concluding remarks included Mesa’s well-wishing for success in Rwanda’s upcoming presidential elections and highlighted Cuba’s impressive contributions to global healthcare.

Cuban Vice President, Salvador Valdés Mesa (left) and RPF Inkotanyi Vice Chaiperson, Consolée Uwimana during a press conference.