THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance co-operation in infrastructure development and technical exchanges between the two entities.
NRZ board chairman Advocate Martin Dinha signed the agreement on behalf of the Government, while director general of the RDTA, Mr Imenya Munyampenda, signed on behalf of his country.
The signing of the MoU capped a five-day working visit to Rwanda by Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Felix Mhona, who led a delegation of senior Government officials and NRZ executives.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Mhona said the MoU was a milestone in enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.
“This signing of the MoU between the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Rwanda Transport Development Agency puts in place the appropriate legal framework for bilateral co-operation between the two entities as envisioned by President Mnangagwa and his Rwandese counterpart Paul Kagame in the General Co-operation Agreement between the two countries.
“There is a broader co-operation agreement that was signed and we are implementing this through the signing of various agreements in the areas that are outlined in the document. We are here to follow through the desires of our two great leaders.
“The two republics are working together in harmony and issues of infrastructure are critical in driving economic development and prosperity of our people,” he said.
Minister Mhona noted the significance of developing the transport infrastructure, saying that it will influence regional productivity through facilitation of movement of goods and labour.
“As Zimbabwe we know the critical importance of transportation infrastructure in the development of our economy.
“As such we have embarked on an Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme Phase 2 which we are financing using domestically generated revenue.
“Allow me also to applaud the Rwandan government for the great works in road construction and rehabilitation.
“We toured the various roads programmes here and we have key lessons that we have learnt and would want to implement back home,” he said.
Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete said the development of transport infrastructure plays an important role in developing a country’s economy.
“Currently, Rwanda has no railway network.
‘‘However, the country is working in partnership with other countries of the region to find a railway network.
“The railway network will contribute in lightening the country’s landlocked status, thus leading to a significant reduction of transport costs,” he said.
Zimbabwe Ambassador to Rwanda Professor Charity Manyeruke, who witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, said the development was one of the fruits of economic diplomacy adopted by the Second Republic.
Zimbabwe and Rwanda have strengthened ties in various areas since the coming in of the Second Republic, with the East African country sharing its development experiences.