Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pawel Jablonski who is in Rwanda for a three-day working visit, says both countries have a lot in common, which will strengthen bilateral relations.
He made the observation at the Prime Minister’s office in Kigali, December 5.
“We share values of human rights, international law, and territorial integrity. We also know that Rwanda and Poland share similar historical experiences. We experienced colonization from our neighbors, we also experienced Genocide during the second world war,” Jablonski said.
“We know what it means to be oppressed, we know what it means to be persecuted, but most importantly we know what it means to prevail, what it means to develop, what it means to change and transform the country to a modern free, democratic and independent state,” he added.
Jablonski pointed out that both countries “understand each other very well”, the experience that will be the foundation for further cordial relations.
Besides, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the Holocaust in Poland was another horrible Genocide and was part of the European-wide Holocaust organized by Nazi Germany.
It took place in German-occupied Poland. During the Genocide, three million Polish Jews were murdered, half of all Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
Nazi Germany’s establishment of death camps, its use of gas vans, and the mass murders carried out by German forces during the Holocaust in Poland are most notable events. Death camps played a central role in the extermination of both Polish Jews, and of Jews whom Germany transported to their deaths from western and southern Europe.
In same horrible experience, in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, more than 1million Tutsi were killed in less than 100 days by extremist Hutu.
It is now 80 years ago for the holocaust in Poland, and 28 years since Genocide against the Tutsi, and both countries that share horrible experience looks forward to strengthening bilateral relations further for mutual development.
Minister Jabonski led a delegation of over 20 Polish companies who are also on a three-day working visit to Rwanda. They include polish universities that signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with local tertiary institutions.
Among local universities that signed MoU with Polish universities include University of Rwanda, Institute of Applied Sciences Ruhengeri and Rwanda Polytechnic. The Polish universities included University of Zielona and Lodz University.
“In relation to trade and investment cooperation, we agreed that we shall continue to explore win-win opportunities of mutual benefits and development, and as a start, the private sectors from both countries will be able to connect during today’s business forum,” Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation said.
“Rwanda looks forward to working closely with Poland to accelerate our cooperation in strategic areas of common interest,” Biruta added.
Currently, the Rwandan community in Poland has grown to over 1200 people, most of which, students.
Officials said that best academic performing students will be offered scholarships to study in Poland. Signed MoUs will also include exchange of faculties in research, and capacity building.