In a short period of time, diplomatic and partnership relations between Africa, Rwanda and Turkiye have grown rapidly and strongly.

I want to thank President Erdoğan for the invitation and the warm hospitality we have all enjoyed since our arrival here in Istanbul.

Our cooperation, mainly in the areas of trade, transportation, health, and education, has created a solid base to further strengthen our ties.

The increased investments in Africa and in Rwanda by Turkish companies exemplify all this.

Turkiye has also become a reliable partner and market for Africa’s goods and materials with exports increasing significantly last year.

These gains will have to be sustained and there is no doubt that our mutually beneficial cooperation under the Joint Action Plan will be a catalyst for this.

Allow me to elaborate on three areas of the action plan which speak directly to Rwanda’s or Africa’s development.

First, peace and security, as also clarified by the Chair of the African Union, and governance have been at the core of transformation journey for all of us.

Rwanda continues to contribute to this and will partner with other African countries to ensure that stability prevails on our continent.

Second, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to our attention the importance of building resilient health systems and Africa is no exception.

Lastly, because of Africa’s favourable demographics, education continues to be at the forefront of our strategy to create a knowledge-based economy.

I take this opportunity to commend Turkiye for supporting members of the African Union through joint activities, which contribute to the implementation of continental priorities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made it clear to us that we are more connected than ever before, and to see tangible results, we must work together.

I would like to end by welcoming the Draft Joint Action Plan, which will strengthen Africa’s collaboration with Turkiye for the next five years.

I thank you for your kind attention.