On the early morning of August 19th, 2021, two hundred thousand (200,000) doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Government of China to the Government of Rwanda arrived at Kigali International Airport. H.E. Mr. RAO Hongwei, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, and Hon. Dr. Daniel NGAMIJE, Rwanda's Minister of Health, on behalf of their respective governments, received the vaccines at the airport and joined the vaccine handover ceremony. Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy Mr. WANG Jiaxin and Rwanda officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Health, Rwanda Biomedical Center also joined the activities.
H.E. Ambassador RAO said at the ceremony that the Government of China decided to donate 200,000 doses of China-manufactured vaccines to Rwanda about one month ago. With the joint effort and high efficiency of two sides, the vaccines have arrived today. He believes the vaccines with boost Rwanda's fight against the virus, and hopes Rwanda will curb the spread of COVID-19, and return to normal life as soon as possible.
Amb. RAO pointed out that the Year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Rwanda, and the traditional friendship between the two countries has been developing steadily, especially after H.E. President Paul KAGAME's visit to China in 2017 and H.E. President XI Jinping's visit to Rwanda in 2018. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries have been standing together shoulder to shoulder, and helping each other in various areas. This reflects the deep friendship between the two countries that China and Rwanda are good friends, brothers and sisters. China will continue to provide help to Rwanda within our abilities.
On behalf of the Government and People of Rwanda, Hon. Dr. Daniel NGAMIJE expressed sincere thanks to the Government and People of China for their continuous support to Rwanda's fight against COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic. He said that the vaccine is a valuable contribution to Rwanda's ongoing vaccination drive, targeting the most vulnerable across the country. This is a symbol of strong collaboration between both governments, also a sign of international solidarity. Rwanda is willing to continue to deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields including medical and health care with China, and continuously promote the development of friendly relations between the two countries.
H.E. Ambassador RAO and Hon. Dr. Daniel NGAMIJE signed the handover certificate on behalf of the two governments at the ceremony. The event was reported by China's Xinhua News Agency and the local mainstream media in Rwanda such as Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, The New Times and IGIHE.
Up to now, China has supplied the most COVID-19 vaccines to foreign countries, exceeding the total exported or donated by other countries. At the same time, China has always prioritized the provision for Asian, African and Latin American countries, and currently more than one-third of the recipients of China-donated vaccines are African countries.