President Paul Kagame today, at Village Urugwiro met and held discussions with the Nike Foundation President, Ms. Maria Eitel and Mark Lowcock, the Director General of country programmes-UK. The two officials met with the President to inform him about a new collaboration between DFID and Nike aimed at supporting initiatives to improve the lives of adolescent girls in Africa and other poor regions of the world.

After meeting with the President, the two officials said the discussions with the President had been quite good and said they thought the initiative would do better in Rwanda because the country is advanced in the promotion of girls and women welfare. “Especially here in Rwanda, I’m very excited about the possibility of great collaboration on this crucial challenge which will be of benefit to not only the people of Rwanda but also of interest and with lessons for a wider world,” said Mark Lowcock, the DFID Director General for country programmes. He added that he also had very good discussions with the President on a range of other matters of common interest between Rwanda and the UK, especially the new investment strategy which the British government has had the opportunity to start and has a good deal of admiration for. “We look forward to working closely with the Rwanda government,” he said.

“This is my first trip to Rwanda and I have learnt a lot on my visit… I had an excellent meeting with the President today and we discussed the leadership role he has played around the issues of gender, particularly the issues of girls and women. We are very excited about DFID, ourselves and this partnership; we expect some possibilities of opportunities of how we might participate
here in Rwanda. We look forward to future visits,” Maria Eitel, the President of Nike Foundation said after meeting the President. She said that with 70% of Rwanda’s population being under 18 years of age, meaning that a large part was made up of adolescent girls between the ages of nine and 18, there was enormous potential to create continuing growth and stability. “So, we will be looking at different sectors where girls might be able to be included in ways that will help them participate more fully,” she said.