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Korea partner to build dev't capacity

President Paul Kagame received a delegation yesterday from South Korea that delivered a final report on "Building Capacity for Strategic Sectors in Rwanda" and whose findings will be relied upon to develop some vital sectors of the economy.

The report, a product of a joint research project carried out by Korea Institute of Development Strategy(KDS) and the Strategy Policy Unit(SPU) of the Office of the President, is an initiative under the cooperation agreement between Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) and the government of Rwanda.

Speaking to the Press after meeting the President, Dongwon Ahn, the KOICA Vice President said that the comprehensive report highlights areas of strategic capacity building especially in the industrial, ICT, financial and agriculture sectors.

"This report contains ideas which will lead the country to the Vision 2020 and the economic experience." Ahn said.

"We suggested areas of policy development in each of these sectors such as ICT, agriculture, textiles, pharmaceuticals, industry and the financial sector among others". Ahn added.

He noted that the report suggested extraordinary measures to overhaul the 'strategic sectors' such as textile and pharmaceutical to make Rwanda competitive or even better than its neighbours in the region.

Ahn said that apart from capacity building project, the cooperation has achieved a lot since its establishment in 2007 including a multi-million ICT centre currently under construction at the National University of Rwanda.

"Currently we are also facilitating a textile course at Kicukiri Technical College and we have about 30 volunteers working in various sectors in Rwanda. We also have scholarships for Rwandan students in Korean universities and courses for government officials in Korea" said Ahn while highlighting some of the achievements.

On his part, Dr. Jean Paul Kimonyo, head of the Strategy and Policy unit in the Presidential Office stated that the cooperation between Rwanda and South Korea is advancing well, adding that Rwanda would want to pursue the development model South Korea took, which advanced it from one of the poorest economies 40 years ago, to one of the leading economies in the world.

"The significance of this relationship is that South Korea is one of those countries in East Asia which came from very poor economies to one of the most advanced in the world.

The President has had several trips to East Asia and noticed the phenomenal progress they have made and he would like to emulate that" said Kimonyo.

Kimonyo said that the report made in the framework of capacity building centres on 5 key strategic sectors including agriculture, industry, mining, energy, technical and vocational training and seeks to revamp these sectors which are very rich but 'pragmatic'.

In a related development, the KOICA Vice President met the Alumni Association of Rwandan students who studied in Korean Universities.

The seven member's association comprises Rwandan graduates(Master's degree)from the different institutions and disciplines in the Republic of Korea.

Joseph Kabakeza, chairman of the association and a graduate of Korea University expressed gratitude to KOICA and the Korean government on behalf of the other group members.

"We are very grateful to KOICA and the Korean government and we shall not let down the hope and trust of the two governments but rather pay back by contributing to Rwandan development" said Kabakeza.

He appealed for an increased number of Korean scholarships to Rwandan scholars as this will lead to the expansion and growth of the association as well as concerted efforts for the association and its ability to realize development