Presidents Kagame, Macron discuss Africa-France ties

President Paul Kagame and his French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday held bilateral talks in Paris, France during which the two leaders discussed ties between the African Union and the European nation, among other subjects.

Macron met Kagame at the Élysée Palace and during a subsequent news conference by the two leaders, Kagame said their talks covered a range of areas largely in his capacity as African Union Chairperson.

The two presidents also met the Chief Executive Officers of around 60 leading global tech companies to discuss nurturing innovation and enterprise in Africa.

“We have engaged in a range of discussions on bilateral relations and had an interesting conversation with business leaders taking part in the Tech for Good Summit on nurturing innovation and enterprise in Africa, especially around our young people,” he said.

Kagame said that Africa is willing and ready to support the role technology and the youth play in the development of the continent and the world at large.

“This partnership presents a new mindset on how we need to collectively address these issues and each maintain ownership on ensuring the outcomes of this partnership benefit us all,” he said.

Their discussions among other things touched on the peace and security situation in Africa as well as opportunities regarding social economic transformation.

In regards to the peace and security on the continent, the two leaders considered ways to improving the situation in countries such as Central African Republic and the Sahel region.

Their talks also touched on the state of relations between the countries which has not been in the best of terms over the years largely due to France’s involvement in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

In regards to the bilateral relations, Kagame said that the two countries should play their respective roles to ensure that the relationship is beneficial to both countries as well as the African continent.

“We must continue to play our respective roles in ensuring that this relationship is beneficial to both countries and go even further to ensure that the interests of Africa as a whole are considered,” Kagame said.

President Kagame also commented on the candidature of Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo for the position of Secretary General of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) saying that Rwanda was happy to provide leaders like her to support African nations.

“Rwanda has always been a member of the Francophonie, we never stopped. When asked to contribute and given the context of new times we are happy to participate by providing leaders like Mushikiwabo as long as this has the support of members,” he said.

Macron also expressed his support for Mushikiwabo’s candidature saying that she not only meets all requirements for the position but is also competent.

OIF is an international organisation representing countries and regions where French is a customary language and a significant proportion of the population are French speakers or with notable affiliation with French culture.

Elections are slated for October this year in Armenia. The other known candidate in the race is incumbent Michaëlle Jean, a Canadian national.

President Kagame continues his two-day working visit today, where, at the invitation of President Macron, he will be attending Viva Technology, a tech event that brings together startups and leaders from around the world. This year, up to 50 African startups, including from Rwanda, will showcase their solutions and work with global incubators and accelerators.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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