President Paul Kagame, yesterday, arrived in Maputo, Mozambique, for a two-day State visit and was received by his host President Filipe Nyusi.
On arrival, Kagame was hosted to a reception at the President’s office complete with a guard of honour and a 21 gun salute.
The two Heads of State held bilateral talks prior to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the area of political consultations between the two countries, according to a statement.
Addressing the media shortly after the signing ceremony, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said the visit was an opportunity for the two countries to signal bilaterally the stepped up collaborations and closer ties for the benefit of citizens of the two countries.
In the spirit of ‘cautious but urgent steps’ to speed up the implementation of the areas of cooperation, Mushikiwabo said that the two Heads of State had unanimously agreed to set up a task force to conduct follow ups, evaluation and fast track progress of the alliance.
The taskforce will operate within the confines of the countries’ ministries of foreign affairs.
“We have also agreed that even though we will host our sector to sector joint permanent commission in Rwanda before the end of the first quarter of 2017, we will continue to work together. An invitation has been extended to the Mozambique minister of Agriculture to come to Rwanda to talk to his counterpart and other colleagues to figure out, where we could exchange know-how, experience and identify commodity products that can be traded both ways,” the minister said.
Mushikiwabo noted that the state visit was also an opportunity to express gratitude to the people and government of Mozambique for hosting a number of refugees living in the country.
“As you are well aware, a number of African countries, due to their respective histories, have refugees in different countries on the continent. We took the opportunity to thank the government of Mozambique and to very happily hear from the president of Mozambique that this friendly country will not allow any acts of destabilisation of Rwanda by some elements in the Rwandan community here in Mozambique,” the minister said.
Going forward, she said, through the departments of foreign affairs and security, the government would ensure that the Rwandan community residing in Mozambique is provided with necessary support depending on their status.
Bilateral talks between the two nations extended to the possibility of having the National carrier, RwandAir commencing flights to the Southern African country.
‘Learning from Rwanda’
Mozambique Minister of Foreign Affairs Oldemiro Marques Júlio Baloi hailed the cooperation and ‘brotherly’ ties between the two countries.
He commended Rwanda’s rapid development, saying that despite being a geographically small country, it has risen to become ‘very powerful’ on the continent.
He added that Rwanda can serve as an example to fellow African countries considering how the country has managed to recover from the effects of 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Following bilateral talks with the Mozambique president, Kagame proceeded to the country’s National Assembly where he met with Veronica Macamo Dlhovo, president of the National Assembly of Mozambique.
Later in the day President Kagame was hosted to a state banquet in his honour at Ponta Vermelha State House.
Before concluding his visit, he is expected to address members of the Mozambican Business and Private Sector on the role of the Private Sector in Rwanda’s development.
The President is also accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo; the Minister for Trade, Industry, and EAC affairs, Francois Kanimba; and Rwanda Development Board chief executive Francis Gatare.