Djibouti, 18 April 2017
President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame today arrived in Djibouti for a two-day State Visit. They were were received at the Airport by Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and Djibouti First Lady Kadra Mahamoud Haid.
President Kagame’s visit is reciprocal, following the Djibouti President’s two-day visit to Rwanda in March last year.
Upon arrival, the two Heads of State met for a tête-à-tête before holding bilateral talks and meeting members of the press at a joint press conference at the Djibouti President’s Office.
In their statements, both Presidents highlighted the need for stronger African ties and the belief in a dignified Africa.
In his opening statement, President Kagame said:
“Rwanda and Djibouti share close bilateral ties as well as a belief in the importance of a strong, dignified Africa. Our two countries desire closer collaboration on issues of common interest, in particular trade and investment. Our cooperation is not limited to these areas but extends to many others that our two sides find mutually beneficial. We will continue to work together to advance integration in the region and continent particularly through ongoing AU reforms and continue to advocate for greater unity. The goal being increased prosperity for Djibouti and Rwanda, our region & Africa.”
Resident Omar Guelleh welcomed President Kagame and his delegation to their ‘second home, Djibouti’ and expressed solidarity with the people of Rwanda as they commemorate the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi for the 23rd time.
“Rwanda and Djibouti are bound to shape special relations, thanks to our common willingness and commitment to promote trade and business and cultural ties. As I am sure, you know that there are many opportunities that we have not exploited so far in order to strengthen our economic ties and foster growth in our countries. Among many, transportation remains a key sector to the business community, indeed the free movement of good and people between the two countries is necessary to enhance trade between our countries and would be a model between the rest of the countries.
Rwanda and Djibouti enjoy good bilateral and working relations. The Ambassador of Djibouti to Ethiopia based in Addis Ababa represents his country to Rwanda. Likewise, Rwanda’s Ambassador to Ethiopia is accredited to Djibouti. About 30 Rwandans live in Djibouti, most of who work as engineers in different military bases, while three have lived in Djibouti for almost 30 years and are teachers.
Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Guelleh held a two-day State visit to Rwanda in March 2016. During the visit, a General Cooperation Agreement that provided a foundation for future technical agreements and cooperation, as well as a MOU between Djibouti Ports Authority and the Rwanda Development Board were signed. Other agreements previously signed include: A MoU on education in 2007, and a trade agreement between the Private Sector Federation and the Chamber of Commerce of Djibouti following a trade mission in February 2014. Our two countries also cooperate in the East African Standby Force, which conducts many of its trainings in Djibouti.
Tomorrow President Kagame is scheduled to address the Djibouti National Assembly- Parliament as well as Visit the Port of Doraleh, marking the end of his two-day visit.