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THE United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Biruta, on Saturday, March 18, signed an addendum that will expand the scope of the existing UK-Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

Braverman made the announcement at a press briefing in Kigali.

She did not reveal details about the addendum.

“Today, we have signed an addendum to the Migration and Economic Development Partnership, which will expand the provision of support to people being relocated to Rwanda,” she said.

In April 2022, UK and Rwanda signed a migration and economic development partnership that seeks to give a dignified life to people who leave their countries to seek asylum in European countries.

Under the deal, some of these people will be relocated to Rwanda where they will be empowered through different initiatives.

“There is a global migration crisis. Many countries around the world are grappling with unprecedented numbers of illegal migrants and I sincerely believe that this world leading partnership between two allies and two friends, the United Kingdom and Rwanda, will lead the way in finding a solution which is both humanitarian and compassionate and also fair and balanced,” said the UK Home Secretary.

Earlier, she visited Norrsken Africa, a regional tech hub based in Kigali and Bwiza estates to assess the skills, services and the welfare program the migrants would be accorded upon arrival in Rwanda.

“I've been incredibly impressed with my visit today, both to meet local innovators and entrepreneurs and to see the job and wealth creation going on in the vibrant economy of Rwanda. Also, I have been impressed with Bwiza estates; its extensive construction work, some of which (the estates) will be used for the resettlement and integration of migrants coming from the UK,” she said.

Biruta believes the partnership between the two countries will contribute to addressing the global migration crisis.

“This innovative partnership represents an important development in our efforts to address irregular migration and we are glad to be working closely with the UK on this. The UK is investing in Rwanda's capability to offer better opportunities for migrants and Rwandans as well,” he said.

In 2022, the UK received 45,000 migrants which reflected a 60 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

“We look forward to working together to create a new model which helps to address the root causes of the global migration crisis. This will not only help dismantle criminal human smuggling networks but also save lives and contribute to correcting the global imbalance in human development opportunities,” he said.

Under the UK-Rwanda migration deal, those who will benefit from the partnership will have the option of applying for asylum, locally, and be facilitated to resettle in Rwanda or to be facilitated to return to their home countries, having received support through the programme.

The UK will fund the programme, initially releasing an upfront investment of £120 million, which will fund invaluable opportunities for the migrants and Rwandans as well.

This includes “secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons, and higher education.”

The UK will also support in terms of accommodation prior to local integration and resettlement.

According to the deal, they will be entitled to full protection under Rwandan law, equal access to employment, and enrollment in healthcare and social care services. - Edwin Musoni, The New Times

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