On August 21, 2012, the Special Envoy to the Australian Prime Minister, Bob McMullan, is on a 4 day visit in the country with the aim to strengthen the relationship with Rwanda by developing local educational institutions to improve appropriate curriculum in mining and drilling.
McMullan paid a courtesy call on President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro, and discussed the current bilateral relations between the two countries.
“Our Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Kagame were asked by the UN Secretary General to co-chair a panel of the UN of Millennium Development Goals, so we discussed how they can work together effectively on this very important international task,” said McMullan.
Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and associated colleges such as Tumba and Kicukiro are among institutions to host the trainings where they will offer a 2-year diploma course, while Australia will also offer scholarships for master’s applicants.
“I’m pleased to announce that 32 Rwandans are confirmed for scholarship opportunities in Australia during 2012/13,” pointed out Bob McMullan, the special envoy of the Australian Prime Minister.
He assured Rwanda that Australia will commit itself in supporting Rwanda by providing special skills training to improve income, employment and enterprise opportunities through mining. Effective management of mineral resources will make significant contribution to economic growth and help to diversify the Rwandan economy.
The Deputy Director General at Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), Micheal Biryabarema said: “It’s great to see Australia coming to partner with the Rwandan Government”.
Stanislas Kamanzi, Minister of Natural Resources hailed Australia for the initiative which he said was vital for the growth of mining industry.
Kamanzi said our commitment now as government in partnership with mining companies to develop on-job skills training that benefits workers.
Adding that the capacity building is very important in the mining industry because most workers still lack some skills and the well-established structure of the industry equipped with professional staff will contribute in developing the country.
But this requires having enough personnel who can supervise safe mining.
In this regard, he noted, there is a need of about 80 scientists in the next 6 or 7 years while there is a need of about 400 middle mining technicians, not to mention many more low level miners.
According to RNRA, Rwanda has about 500 mines producing between 8,000 and 9,000 tons of minerals per year while revenues vary depending on international market stability.
The country expects to get over US$ 100 million this year while they generated US$ 158 million last year.