KIGALI - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (Minaffet) has announced that Michaëlle Jean, the Governor General of Canada will visit the country this month.
A Friday Minaffet communiqué states that at the request of Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, the Governor General will make state visits in 5 African countries including Rwanda, from April 14 to 24.
It is noted that the first black Canadian Governor General, who is scheduled to arrive in Kigali on April 21, is delighted to visit the Great Lakes region for the first time, during her third visit to Africa.
“Returning to this continent is a new opportunity to bear witness to an Africa that is full of excitement and promise, an Africa called to take its rightful place in the world,” the Gov. General said in the statement.
“I wanted to visit central Africa to encourage the efforts to bring peace to the region, to rebuild and to restore the ties of trust and the rule of law,” she added.
For her three-day visit to Rwanda, she will be accompanied by a small delegation of Canadians involved in a variety of sectors including governance, arts and culture, civil society, women’s rights, youth and trade.
The statement notes that during her visit - which coincides with the national month of mourning to commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – she will tour monuments commemorating the genocide.
Jean, a former journalist is scheduled to visit the National University of Rwanda (NUR) in Butare and give a speech on the civic responsibility of the media in a democracy and will also tour rural communities in Nyamagabe and in Kibirizi to get a “first hand look” at outcomes of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) projects in the region.
Minaffet underscores that state visits by a Gov. General play an important role in Canada’s relations with other countries as they are “the highest level of diplomatic contact, and they mark developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.”