NIGERIAN MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ALHAJI NURUDEEN MOHHAMED AND HIS RWANDAN COUNTERPART, MRS. LOUISE MUSHIKIWABO EXCHANGING BILATERAL AGREEMENT SIGNED BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES TODAY THURSDAY IN KIGALI.
Oct 7, 2011 – Nigeria has formalised its relationship with Rwanda by signing a bilateral agreement that will strengthen the ties between the two countries.
The two countries entered into an agreement to enhance cooperation through bilateral meetings and reciprocal visits to consolidate the democratic processes in African countries; as well as promote peace, stability and development on the African continent.
A communiqué read at the end of the bilateral talks stated that both countries also agreed to exchange programmes and ensure the socio-economic transformation of the peoples of the two sister states in areas such as infrastructure, energy, ICT, education and health.
Speaking shortly after the reading the communiqué, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan said it was important to solidify the already existing relationship between Nigeria and Rwanda, because the world is gradually becoming a global village and leaders must continue to interact with one another. Both countries, he said, will concentrate on areas that will aid the expansion of the economies of both countries.
He said it was also an opportunity to compare notes, as both countries have had a common experience in the past and therefore have to work together, adding that this affords Nigeria the opportunity of checking out areas of emulation.
“It is obvious my coming is to further tighten the brotherly relationship between the two countries and between myself and President Kagame,” he said. “You know the world is becoming smaller and smaller… and leaders must continue to discuss to see how we can make sure we accelerate economic development within our two states.”
He noted that New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) allows member countries to compare notes, which affords the opportunity of seeing the areas of cooperation.
“Rwanda has done very well in terms of public health and so on and these are areas that Nigeria can emulate and see the success story,” he said. “We are talking about issues of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA); how will the Rwandan line operate? Will it go to Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna or Port Harcourt?”
Earlier, Kagame said Jonathan’s visit gave both countries the opportunity to discuss on issues relation to each, as well as the African continent.
“The people of Rwanda and Nigeria share similar aspirations to overcome the past and create for themselves a prosperous and dignified future,” he said. “We also share the commitment to work towards a stable dynamic Africa that contributes meaningfully to the global economy.”
Before now, the only relationship between Nigeria and with Rwanda was the establishment of the Technical Aid Corp (TAC) scheme in 1987 as a foreign policy tool to serve specific national interests and the training of the Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) as a special arrangement between both defense institutions.
The Rwandan Ministry of Health has requested that the next batch be composed of specialists in general surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics and neurosurgery.(Daily Times)