New ambassadors from Kenya, Egypt, and Canada to Rwanda upbeat as they officially assume office

By Wycliffe Nyamasege
On 26 March 2024 at 06:07

The newly appointed ambassadors of Kenya, Egypt, and Canada to Rwanda officially assumed their duties on Tuesday, March 26, following the presentation of their letters of credence to President Paul Kagame.

The three envoys, Janet Mwawasi Oben, Nermine Mohamed Essam Eldin Elshaffie El Zawahry, and Julie Crowley, held a meeting with President Kagame at his Office in Village Urugwiro on Tuesday afternoon.

Addressing members of the press at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC) after the presentation, the ambassadors expressed their unequivocal commitment to strengthening bilateral relations between their respective nations and Kigali.

The Kenyan High Commissioner noted that Kenya and Rwanda have continued to enjoy cordial and fraternal relations dating back to 1965, which began with the opening of a diplomatic mission by Kenya in 1986.

She emphasized Kenya’s aim to retain its position as one of Rwanda’s top three trade partners.

Notably, Kenya exports foodstuffs, beverages, pharmaceutical products, cement, iron, and skin products to Rwanda, while Rwanda exports coffee, tea, horticultural foods, and raw hides and skins to Kenya.

Kenya is also the main route for Rwanda’s exports and imports through the Port of Mombasa.

“The trade volumes in recent years have risen, and I look forward to engaging the Rwandan authorities to build on this good relationship built over the years for the exchange of goods and services,” Ms. Oben stated.

The High Commissioner committed to following up on the existing cooperation agreements between Kenya and Rwanda, including 10 agreements signed during President William Ruto’s state visit to Rwanda in April last year.

The Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) aim to enhance cooperation in several areas, including education, ICT, health, gender and child development, youth and capacity development for the public service, as well as correctional services.

“I commit to following up on the implementation of the existing agreements to ensure they expand and give rise to new opportunities to boost our bilateral relations,” she added.

She also pledged Kenya’s commitment to partnering with Rwanda to promote peace and security in the region.

On the other hand, the Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda affirmed the political goodwill on Egypt’s side to engage and enhance bilateral relations in different sectors, including political, economic, health, security, and military.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Rwanda, on her part, said she looks forward to strengthening the good commercial relations between the two countries, even as she praised the secure business environment.

“It will be easy for me to do so considering how already well-established these relations are… We have a large Rwandan diaspora in Canada that we can count on, and we already have some companies established here in Rwanda. The environment here has been safe and very dynamic,” Ms. Crowley affirmed.

Canada also aims to expand its support and technical assistance in the health sector, education, and job creation.

“We collaborate quite closely with learning institutions, with the University of Rwanda being one of them… We are very grateful for the interest in studying in Canada that we see year on year from young students, and I have no doubt that will continue.

“We will also encourage partnerships between Canadian universities and Rwandan universities so that technical collaborations can take place and enrich the offerings here in terms of master’s, Ph.D.s, and the like,” she added.

New Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ms. Janet Mwawasi Oben
New Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda, Nermine Mohamed Essam Eldin Elshaffie El Zawahry
New Canadian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Julie Crowley
New Egyptian Ambassador to Rwanda, Nermine Mohamed Essam Eldin Elshaffie El Zawahry and her delegation