International News

Rwanda lures Zim teachers

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Paul Kagame

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame says his government is urgently looking for ‘quality’ Zimbabwean teachers who are in high demand in a vote of confidence for the country’s professionals.

Kagame revealed this yesterday at the on-going Rwanda-Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.

“Zimbabwe can offer us good quality teachers. So please find us a number of quality teachers. We need them urgently,” Kagame said.

Teachers and the government have had running battles over salaries. Teachers’ unions want their salaries restored to the pre-October 2018 levels of US$520.

Government says it has no resources and will review once the resources are available. Zimbabweans have gained reputation for their professionals and have become the go-to for nationals seeking committed expats.

Kagame said Rwanda is treating with urgency the strengthening of relations with Zimbabwe.

“Be assured that the Rwanda private sector is ready to reciprocate and identify mutually beneficial  business opportunities as we have seen during this conference that we have a great deal to offer each other,” he said.

“So let’s make the best of it. Act on the outcome of this conference with a sense of urgency.”

Kagame said progress does not come easily or without sacrifice and it requires “hard work, dedication and self-reliance”.

But self-reliance does not mean going it alone, he said.

“No country in our continent can prosper without cooperating within our region. We have to come together to pull our resources and knowledge and reinforce one another.”

The conference saw Rwanda and Zimbabwe signing five government to government Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).

The private sector in both countries also signed MoUs.

Deputy chief executive officer of Rwanda Development Board, Zephanie Niyonkuru said Rwanda was happy with fruits realised from the trade and investment conference.

“We are happy that the two countries have agreed to work together and fast track agreements that were made for the two countries.

“We have agreed to fast track the process of putting in place a single tourism visa to ensure that visitors or tourists visiting one of the countries can extend their stay in the other country without necessarily looking for an additional visa,” Niyonkuru said.

Some delegates from both countries expressed concern on the current difficulties that visitors sometimes face in either country urging the authorities to ensure ease of movement if the two countries are to increase business operations.

The Zimbabwean delegation was led by Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Frederick Shava who said that Zimbabwe will continue to learn from Rwanda in improving the ease of doing business.

Industry and Commerce minister Sekai Nzenza said she was happy that the conference has provided viable solutions for both countries to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are living at a time where it is important to continue to proffer business solutions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic thereby enabling us to emerge stronger from the pandemic,” Nzenza said.

Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told the Business Times that they are looking to intensify event promotion between the two countries in order to improve tourism.

Rwanda is doing very well especially in the field of tourism and events promotion and wants to see how best Zimbabwe can cooperate with the Rwanda Development Board and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, he said.

“There are so many areas that we believe we can work together with Rwanda  to raise the bar and the standard of  tourism,” Ndlovu said.

The trade and investment  conference was organised by multimedia firm AB Communications, which is Business Times’ parent company, and facilitated by ZimTrade and the Rwanda Development Board.

The conference is unpacking and identifying trade and Investment opportunities in Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Businesses from both Rwanda and Zimbabwe are having face to face interactions as they seek to strengthen relations and cooperation.


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