Urugwiro Village, 09 February 2011

President Kagame today received heads of government who paid a courtesy call on him at his office at Village Urugwiro. The heads of government included Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga of Kenya, Rt. Hon. Paul Biyoghe Mba of Gabon and Rt. Hon. Gilbert Houngbo Togo. The President also received Mohammed Ouzzine, the Moroccan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Speaking to the press after meeting President Kagame, the leaders said that they discussed a range of issues concerning bilateral relations with the President. Commenting on the issue of the post of Secretary General of the East African Community, which prominently featured in the media recently, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga emphasized: “The Secretary General of the East African Community is basically what the title says. He is not representing any particular country. He is going to be the servant of the people of East Africa and that is the reason why I have been saying that there really need not to be any kind of a tug-of-war over this issue as to who it should be. As you know, the community was first confined to three countries; Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Kenya was the first to give a Secretary General, followed by Uganda and now Tanzania. I see no reason why a Rwandese cannot be a Secretary General, I don’t see how we in Kenya are going to benefit if a Kenyan was a Secretary General. This is a non-issue as far as I am concerned.’

The Togolese Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Gilbert Houngbo, said that his discussion with the President touched on areas of collaboration between Rwanda and Togo and that his country was interested in tapping in Rwanda’s vast experiences in issues like aid management, rural development, agriculture, private sector and creation of a conducive environment for doing business. “A delegation of four ministers will be arriving tonight and they will be exchanging experiences with Rwandan officials in the spirit of South-South Cooperation,” he said.