Jersey Minister Reinforces Mutual Cooperation in Healing Rwanda
Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, has led a successful official visit to Rwanda where the Island’s development interventions were praised by Ministerial counterparts and UN representatives.
The Minister held bilateral meetings with Rwanda’s Minister for Agriculture, Minister Gerardine Mukeshima, discussing a range of topics including the ongoing JOA funded dairy project, Jersey Inka Nziza, that is using improved genetics to lift hundreds of thousands out of poverty and improve daily nutrition in households across Rwanda. Both Ministers addressed the opening session of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau that was attended by international representatives, including over 20 from African countries, all of whom heard about the merits of the Jersey cow and its ongoing success in the development sector.
Jersey’s commitment to moving its aid upstream and increase knowledge transfer and capacity building was explored with Rwanda’s Minister of State, Dr Claudine Uwera, and there was a joint commitment in strengthening existing ties in the Financial Inclusion space.
Other engagements included a visit to the mass grave at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of one of Africa’s darkest chapters when nearly 1 million Rwandans, mainly Tutsi, were murdered in the space of just 100 days.
Speaking of her visit, the Minister said, ‘visiting the communities and projects here and speaking to Ministers, it is hard to imagine where this country was 25 years ago. I found the Genocide memorial incredibly moving both as a place to remember those who died and as a symbol of reconciliation and what can be achieved in the wake of such national trauma. I have been hugely encouraged by the bilateral meetings I have attended and the enthusiasm and warmth of the people I have met. It is clear Jersey’s expertise in dairy and finance have a role to play as Rwanda continues on its impressive trajectory.’ 2
During the 5-day visit Deputy Labey met with the UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in addition to staff from UNCDF and UNHCR as she visited a refugee camp where JOA and Comic Relief are supporting a project for displaced communities – Rwanda is home to over 75,000 refugees who have fled violence in the neighbouring Democratic of Congo.
Left. Deputy Carolyn Labey with Rwanda Agricultural Minster, Minister Gerardine Mukeshima
Centre Deputy Carolyn Labey visiting a JOA/ Comic Relief project
Right. Deputy Carolyn Labey with UN Resident Coordinator, Fode Ndiaye (L) and UN Resident Representative Stephen Rodriques.