Picture of Péter Szijjártó and Vincent Biruta

Hungary is launching its the largest-ever aid package in Africa, with $52 million headed to Rwanda through its “Tied Aid Program,” announced Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Tuesday.

The Foreign Minister discussed this at a joint press conference with Rwandan Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Tuesday. He explained that within the framework of the program, Kigali’s water management facilities will be developed with the help of Hungarian companies, with more than half of the work to be carried out by Hungarian firms.

Part of the project is the renovation and expansion of the capital’s water treatment plant. Hungarian companies will not only take part in the planning phase, but also provide technical supervision of the installation of Hungarian-made equipment, Szijjártó said.

Hungarian technologies are gaining new opportunities in one of Africa’s fastest growing markets while also helping to improve local living conditions, noted the Foreign Minister.

In response to a request from the Rwandan government, Hungary also plans to donate 300,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to Rwanda. Szijjártó added that the pandemic clearly showed how interdependent the countries of the world are, regardless of geographical distances.

“Now, when we can help, we help,” said Szijjártó, who was the first Hungarian Foreign Minister ever to pay an official visit to Rwanda.

Péter Szijjártó also announced that Hungary would open a consular post in Kigali. In addition, 319 Rwandan students have already applied for the 20 scholarships provided to Rwanda for study in Hungarian higher education institutions, which he believes indicates a high level of interest.

Finally, the Foreign Minister spoke about the signing of a cooperation agreement on vaccine production between the two countries. Hungary’s National Vaccine Factory will begin production next year, although Rwanda has also set a goal to be able to produce vaccines, he said.

[Index][Photo: Péter Szijjártó / Facebook]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.