RWAMAGANA - A delegation of local leaders from the Eastern Province, who were on a three-day official visit of Tanzania’s Kagera region, signed a memorandum of understanding to foster bilateral relations and cross-border trade.
The delegation, led by Eastern Provincial Governor, Odette Uwamariya, included the mayors of Kayonza and Kirehe districts.
The visit, which coincided with Tanzania’s 50th independence anniversary, followed a similar tour made to Rwanda by local leaders from the Tanzanian region earlier this year.
According to Jean Marie Makombe, the Executive Secretary of Eastern Province, the understanding will cement the social, political and economic growth of the two sister regions.
Makombe noted that members of the private sector in the province are encouraged to cooperate with their Tanzanian counterparts, to promote business.
“We need to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development… provide all individuals the opportunity to live in dignity and to realise their full potential,” he remarked.
Other areas of cooperation, according to Makombe, are education, sports and culture.
“The two provinces are neighbours who can benefit from sharing experiences on decentralisation as well as good governance policies and practices,” he added.
The Mayor of Kirehe District, Protais Murayire told The New Times that his district already enjoys good relations with the districts of Ngara and Karagwe in Kagera region.
He observed that it was imperative that such cooperation is extended to other districts in the respective regions in the two countries.
The Mayor disclosed that the two regions had already been working together to combat cross-border crimes, including drug trafficking.
“It is such cooperation that will help us curb rampant trafficking of cannabis between the regions,” he underscored.
“Crimes influenced by drug abuse are increasing and serious measures are long overdue. We need to confront the challenge together,” he noted. The Eastern Provincial boundary borders Tanzania from east to south.