Kigali, 29 August 2016

  • Excellency, Patrice Talon, President of the Republic of Benin
  • Honourable Ministers and Senior Government Leaders from Benin and Rwanda
  • Members of the Diplomatic Corps
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
  • A good evening to you.

Let me start by saying that this is a special occasion, and I would like to warmly welcome our brother and friend for us, President Patrice Talon, on his first visit to our country.

Bienvenu au Rwanda.

We are honoured to host you and your high-level delegation for these productive discussions.

It is also a pleasure to see our good and old friend, Foreign Minister Agbenonci, who actually knows a lot about us, and I’m sure he has been sharing a lot with his President.

Rwanda and Benin are laying the foundation for much stronger ties between our two countries in the years ahead.

Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate the government and the people of Benin, and you personally, Mr President, for the successful election you had not so long ago.

Good politics, conducted in an atmosphere of transparency and stability, is the basis for all economic and social development that Africa seeks to achieve.

National unity and accountable public institutions are achievements that must never be taken for granted. Let’s keep supporting each other to do the right things for the benefit of our people and the world as a whole.

As you probably may have heard, RwandAir will soon begin flights to Cotonou. This definitely represents good cooperation, which we can continue to build on. In any case, we should have no excuse for failing to visit one another much more often from now on.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I won’t take very long, but I would like to end this by asking you to find a glass — make sure it is not empty — so we can toast the friendship between Benin and Rwanda, and the spirit of African unity and progress, which this visit represents.

Thank you very much, and enjoy the rest of your evening.