European Union (EU) ambassador to Rwanda, Belén Calvo Uyarra has commended the country’s peacekeeping efforts in Mozambique , saying that the government has come up with “strong position and action”.
“We are engaging Rwanda in addressing the global security threat, and the country’s intervention has been positive. The EU has been also committed to supporting African solutions for African problems. Rwanda has come up with strong position and action, we have supported its deployment in Mozambique,” Amb. Uyarra said.
“It is an area where we do have a joint interest and I think we will certainly work together.”
She made the observation at the Prime Minister’s office in Kigali City, during a meeting to discuss further areas of cooperation on December 13.
Her remarks follow previous EU’s financial support worth €20 million to contribute to the continued deployment of the Rwanda Defence Force in Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique.
In order to combat armed violent extremism and ensure the return of internally displaced people of the province, Rwandan Security Forces have been conducting coordinated operations with Mozambican forces.
At the government of Mozambique’s request, Rwanda sent army and police personnel to Cabo Delgado in July 2021. At the moment, some 2,500 of its soldiers are taking part in joint operations with Mozambican authorities. In places where new terrorist attacks have occurred, more troops are being deployed.
“We have a very strong partnership; we are together on addressing global challenges. Currently the bilateral relations are one of the strongest,” Uyarra added.
Briefying the media after the meeting, Dr. Claudine Uwera, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in charge of Planning said that Rwanda and EU are discussing further ways to improve collaborations in areas including health, education, agriculture, energy, among others.
Vocational schools, a priority
One of the main pillars for socioeconomic development and change is thought to be TVET skills.
With the efforts to educate youth and parents about the future of work, the Ministry of Education has stepped up efforts to meet 60% targets of students joining Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by 2024.
Only 31% of students who graduate from secondary school at the Ordinary level (also known as the “O” level) currently enrol in TVET programmes, but officials hope to reach that figure by 2024.
“We are discussing potential areas of further cooperation, especially in supporting vocational schools. We need skilled people to solve challenges that are in communities, skills are important, they determine sustainability of things that we do,” Dr. Uwera said.
“Much focus will be on vocational schools. We are looking at the resources and possibly attracting other investors,” she added.
According to the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), TVET institutions play a significant role in assisting many Rwandans, particularly young people, to develop marketable skills and find employment.
Reports indicate that technical skills are crucial for achieving higher output, lowering unemployment and poverty, and fostering social development in Rwanda.