Rwanda is seeking to recruit teachers of English from Zambia, whose educational standards have impressed the central African country, which has switched its official language from French to English.
This came to light when Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba met Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Louise Mushikiwabo.
“We have realised that Zambia has had a very good educational system for many years, and in our search for teachers of the English language and other topics, we felt we could get those services from there, ” said the Rwandan Minister
She said after conducting research, Rwanda has identified Zambia as one of the countries where that country could source teachers of English, technical and vocational trades.
And minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba has delivered a message from President Lungu to Rwandan President Paul Kagame here.
Mr Kalaba met President Kagame on Sunday night at Kigali Serena Hotel, where they had a closed-door meeting that lasted close to an hour.
The minister said President Kagame and his government want enhanced relations with Zambia in such areas as trade and foreign direct investment.
He said that during the meeting, Mr Kagame expressed interest in Zambian teachers who could teach English in Rwandan schools.
Mr Kalaba said President Kagame also talked about the need to maintain peace in the Great Lakes Region in order to increase trade for the benefit of the people.
To this effect, Rwanda will soon host a Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) to discuss issues of trade, co-operation, peace and security and Zambia will attend as a member.
Mr Kalaba further said Rwanda would like to widen the canal from Lake Kivu to Mpulungu Harbour via Lake Tanganyika.
“President Kagame talked about the need to hold a JPC between the two countries to look at different areas of bilateral co-operation, peace and security. President Lungu is playing a pivotal role in the peace process in the Great Lakes Region, where Rwanda is a member,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Kalaba met with his Rwandan counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo and discussed several issues on peace and security, bilateral co-operation and trade, among others.
The minister noted after the meeting that Rwanda has shown so much potential for co-operation, as it has changed from being a Francophone country to an Anglophone one.
He said as a result, Zambia will consider an exchange programme for English and French teachers to work in either country.
“We acknowledge our trade potential between the two countries and we want to see that most of our products come into Rwanda. We want to see if we can have our companies coming into Kigali to set up their businesses,” Mr Kalaba said.
The minister said copper cathodes, sugar and cement are some of the products with good market in Rwanda.
Mr Kalaba also said there is need for Zambia to learn how Rwanda has excelled in land management.
He pointed out that out of a population of 12 million people, Rwanda has been able to issue 11 million title deeds, while Zambia has only 80,000 titled land with a population of about 14 million people.
Meanwhile, the two ministers indicated that their governments are working in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the issue of Rwandan refugees in Zambia. Speaking after the meeting, Ms Mushikiwabo also said the two countries are working on an extradition treaty for individuals who may be wanted by either country.
Mr Kalaba’s delegation includes first secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vincent Mwewa and acting surveyor general Francis Minango.