Kigali, 21 February 2018

Good evening.

Mr President, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to Rwanda. And thank you for accepting our invitation. Please know that you are among brothers and sisters.

I think our foreign minister talked about this in more details: you may have noticed that there are many of us with Zambian-sounding names. But Rwanda and Zambia share more than that.

We have similar aspirations of prosperity and dignity for our people, and a common vision for our continent.

We are linked by membership in regional organisations for the realisation of these common objectives.

In COMESA, we are connected by the desire for greater trade in our region, and ultimately across Africa.

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region brings us together to foster peace and security, so that our people can achieve their ambitions.

Rwandans and Zambians are now more connected than before.

Our national carrier, RwandAir, has regular flights to Lusaka. We can take advantage of this opportunity to increase visits and do more business.

We are also united by our commitment to building a stronger, and more efficient African Union, able to deliver quality services to the citizens of this continent.

This is a continuation of Africa’s liberation, and all of us are stakeholders, in working towards this goal.

Mr President, your visit here is a sign of the warm friendship between Rwanda and Zambia, and a catalyst for even more collaboration.

So I take this opportunity to once again to welcome you to Rwanda, and wish you, your delegation and the people of Zambia, all the best in your development endeavours.

May I now ask you to please join me in a toast: To the good health of His Excellency President Lungu, and the prosperity of the people of Zambia, and of the African continent.

Thank you.