Kigali, 6 April 2016
The Tanzanian President, John Pombe Magufuli and First Lady Janet Magufuli today commenced their two-day visit to Rwanda by joining their host, President Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame for the inauguration of the One Stop Border Posts on either side of the Rwanda-Tanzania border, and the international bridge joining the two countries at Rusumo.
Accompanied by the First Lady Jeanette Kagame, President Kagame joined President Magufuli on the Tanzanian side of the Rusumo border, where both addressed citizens and inaugurated the One Stop Border Post structures by jointly unveiling the inauguration plaque, cutting a ribbon and touring the interior of the building. The two Presidents then crossed over to the Rwandan side of the border where they did the same, before heading to President Kagame’s home, marking the beginning of President Magufuli’s maiden visit to Rwanda, and his first foreign visit as President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
In his inauguration speech, President Kagame reiterated that peace among communities is the foundation of cooperation that has potential to transform our two nations:
“We want trade to increase because that will be to the benefit of both the people of Rwanda and the people of Tanzania. We want the number of people who cross this border to increase from the numbers we have today and multiply. This way, our countries and our people will experience better lives and our region will grow.”
President Kagame welcomed President Magufuli and First Lady Janet Magufuli to Rwanda, and asked them to feel at home in Rwanda:
“We are happy to invite you to be our guests for two days. We want cooperation and relationship between our two countries to grow so that the people can exchange goods and services and other things. We want peace and unity in order to allow our people to do business. We welcome you Mr President and your entire delegation. We will ensure our relationship continues to grow as time passes.”
In his speech, President Magufuli said he was visiting Rwanda in recognition of the existing warm relationship between Tanzania and Rwanda and good neighborliness and brotherhood.
“This is my first foreign visit since I became President of my country. I am not a travelling person mostly because of the attendant huge costs and I am a cost cutting person, but when I received President Kagame’s invitation to visit, I did not hesitate. For the two days I will be in Rwanda, I will learn a lot.”
President Magufuli asked East Africans to use the resources available to them and improve their lives and aim at cutting dependency on assistance.
Both President asked citizens of both countries to protect the facilities for continuity of benefits.
President Magufuli and First Lady Janet Magufuli were later in the evening hosted to a State Dinner by President Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame.