Barbados and Rwanda ink new areas of cooperation

Barbados and Rwanda have taken further steps to strengthen their flourishing relationship.

This comes as the two countries signed an Air Services Agreement, a Sports Cooperation Agreement, and along with Guyana, launched a transatlantic pharmaceutical initiative to develop and manufacture pharmaceuticals for global public health.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kerrie Symmonds signed the two agreements on Monday at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, with Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Dr Ernest Nsabimana and Minister of Sports Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, on the sidelines of the Exploratory Business Mission: Barbados To Rwanda, which is being hosted by Invest Barbados and the Rwanda Development Board.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us. It helps us to close a circle between the countries of the Caribbean, Barbados in particular, and those of you here in eastern Africa,” Symmonds said after signing the Air Services Agreement, which will help pave the way to direct flights between the two countries.

“The countries of the South for too long, have failed to cooperate. And I am very pleased to be at the point now where we can be deepening this cooperation between countries of the South, he later added.

Meanwhile, Minister Nsabimana spoke highly of the good relationship between Rwanda and Barbados, saying: “This Air Service Agreement is the result of this good relationship between two countries. The Bilateral Air Service Agreement allows airlines to operate a commercial flight between two countries…in the transport of passengers and cargo.”

On the signing of the Sports Cooperation Agreement, Minister Symmonds explained that there was more that countries in the south could do to deepen ties in the sporting arena, adding that a road tennis contingent, containing Mark ‘Venom’ Griffith and Julian “Michael Jackson” White, which had also travelled to Kigali, would allow them to further share the intricacies of Barbados’ indigenous sport.

Rwandan Minister Munyangaju explained she was happy to sign the agreement, which would see the exchange of coaches, sports specialists, sports research and knowledge between the two countries.

“We have so many sports facilities in Rwanda, and we would like to have experience sharing on how sports facilities are managed in Barbados, and the same way we manage sports facilities in Rwanda, Barbados will have access to that experience,” the minister said.

The signing of these agreements also comes after yesterday’s launch of a transatlantic bridge between the Caribbean and Latin America and Africa, to develop and manufacture pharmaceuticals for global public health.

“The CARICOM region is the sixth region of the African Union. And this perhaps represents the most tangible form of healthcare cooperation that we have seen in the post-independence movement between Africa and the Caribbean,” Prime Minister The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley said during the ceremony which took place on the sidelines of COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt.

This initiative, which was launched with Prime Minister Mottley, President of Guyana Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, aims at the development and manufacturing of 60% of all essential and contemporary pharmaceuticals for the populations of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa by 2040. (PR)


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