Rwanda and Hungary will work more on cooperating in areas that benefit the people of the two countries, and in dealing with challenges that emanate from global crises or conflict.
The declaration was made by President Paul Kagame and his guest, President Katalin Novák of Hungary, after the two leaders held bilateral talks and witnessed the signing of Memoranda of Understanding between the two countrie before addressing members of the press.
President Novák, who is in Rwanda, on a two-day state visit, was received by President Kagame at Urugwiro Village, where they held a tête-à-tête and bilateral discussions with members of their delegations, which the Hungarian leader described as ‘fruitful’.
The two Heads of State witnessed the signing of MoUs on the training of Rwanda experts on atomic and peaceful use of nuclear energy, a Stipendium Hungaricum agreement as well as a loan facility agreement on upgrading of the Karenge water treatment plant.
In his remarks, President Kagame said that Rwanda and Hungary enjoy good relations and the meeting with President Novák is an opportunity to strengthen the friendship further.
“From my discussion with President Novák, it is clear that Rwanda and Hungary enjoy good bilateral relations. Yeah. We are committed to make our ties even stronger,”
“At this point I want to mention that Rwanda intends to open diplomatic presence in Budapest, and very soon. For our countries job creation and fostering an enabling environment of business are key priorities,”
“Through the new agreement signed today, we are committed to build on this shared vision and we create mutually beneficial opportunities for the people of Rwanda and Hungary,” President Kagame said.
President Kagame said that Rwanda appreciates the significant loan provided by Hungary to upgrade the Kalenge water treatment plant and hopes to benefit from Hungary’s expertise in water management.
President Kagame said that Rwanda and Hungary mainly cooperate in the areas of education, where at least 40 Rwandans are studying in universities in the European country, on scholarships offered by the Hungarian government.
On her part, President Novák, who came into office in March 2022, said that it was her first trip to Africa and she chose Rwanda because she wanted to see firsthand the progress Rwanda has registered over the years
“I wanted to see for myself how much Rwanda has developed in the recent decades and I can see it myself. I had the privilege and the chance to meet Rwanda people, to meet Rwanda communities and to experience personally, how far you got from where you started,”
“Knowing your tragic history, it is even more to appreciate how much progress you made lately and it’s also thanks to your leadership and your commitment,” President Novák said, congratulating President Kagame and Rwandans.
President Novák said she is happy to see her country contribute to that progress, pointing out that being the first Hungarian President to visit Rwanda is also a milestone on her part and in the bilateral relations of the two countries.
“Hungary is like a doorway to the European Union and for us Rwanda is also a doorway to the African continent. So, that makes our situation also quite unique. We are bigger in size but our population is almost similar,” she said.
The two leaders highlighted the many opportunities for cooperation available which the two countries can leverage to advance the populations of the two countries and work together to navigate challenges the two countries face.
She thanked President Kagame for agreeing to open a mission in Budapest, something she said will enhance bilateral ties between the two countries even more vibrant.
President Novák was scheduled to visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial to lay a wreath in honour of the victims of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.
On Monday, 17 July, President Kagame and President Novák will be joined by President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, First Lady Jeannette Kagame, First Lady Monica Geingos of Namibia, First Lady Angeline Ndayishimiye of Burundi, former Heads of State and Government, dignitaries, leaders of international organizations and more for the Opening Ceremony of the Women Deliver 2023 Conference.
Following President Kagame’s opening remarks, the participating Heads of State as well as Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund and Shabana Basij Rasikh, Founder of School of Leadership, Afghanistan, will take part in a high-level panel discussion on advancing gender equality priorities and sustainable approaches to dealing with challenges along the way.