I am very honoured to stand before you, to address this extraordinary session of the National Assembly of Seychelles.

I want to thank the National Assembly for this distinction, and I also take this opportunity to congratulate you on the 30th anniversary of this body.

Tomorrow, I will have the privilege of attending the National Day Parade. Forty-seven years ago, the people of Seychelles joined together, with purpose, to build a prosperous and united country.

As we celebrate your remarkable achievements, including your history, culture, and diversity, Rwanda stands with the people and government of Seychelles.

The commemoration of independence is not merely symbolic. It is a moment to remember the sacrifices made to forge a nation.

Today, with the highest GDP per capita in Africa, Seychelles is making good progress on the road towards sustainable development.

In tourism, education, and environmental conservation, Seychelles leads by example.

Learning from the past to build a better future, without relying on external assistance alone, is something that resonates strongly with Rwandans.

Every year, on July 4th, Rwandans around the world commemorate the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and the liberation of our country.

National celebrations are about continuing to move forward, in unity, solidarity, and with dignity, to transform the lives of the people we serve.

It is also about renewing our commitment to seek the truth, and stand up against injustices. In that context, I wish to congratulate you for the important work of the Truth, Reconciliation, and National Unity Commission.

Partnership and collaboration are also essential, to speed up progress. Seychelles and Rwanda are the first two countries on the continent to access the International Monetary Fund’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

As Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, Rwanda is committed to supporting Small Island Developing States, who are disproportionally impacted by climate change.

Public-private partnerships, like Ireme Invest, which Rwanda launched at COP-27, can take us a long way in closing the gaps in climate financing.

This year, in partnership with BioNTech, Rwanda received its first batch of modular containers, to manufacture mRNA vaccines, for the African continent, in partnership with the European Union.

Stronger and more resilient national health systems fuel human capital development. The Covid pandemic was a reality check, and we cannot afford to wait for the next one, in order to act.

As Africa continues to grow, regional integration will always become more and more indispensable. The most serious challenges we face, transcend borders. They can only be tackled, by cooperation.

A persistent threat, for example, is the spread of violent extremism. In 2021, Rwanda accepted the Government of Mozambique’s request to work with them, to assist in fighting terrorism.

Working hand-in-hand, Mozambican, Rwandan, and forces from the Southern African Development Community are restoring stability.

We must dare to address problems differently, and not wait for others to act on our behalf. Peace and security are the foundation of Africa’s future.

Moving forward, Seychelles and Rwanda will build on the many successes of our continent, to find solutions that benefit our people.

This visit opens a new chapter in the partnership between our two countries, Rwanda and Seychelles, and we are firmly committed to our joint efforts.

Once again, let me thank you for the honour of addressing you today, and thank you for your kind attention.