President Paul Kagame, yesterday, arrived in Uganda for a three-day State visit.
The President touched down at Entebbe International Airport at exactly 3 PM. accompanied by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.
They were received by Uganda’s ICT Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda and Regional Cooperation Minister Asuman Kiyingi.
From the airport, the President and the First Lady proceeded to State House Entebbe where they were welcomed by their hosts, President Yoweri Museveni and his wife, Janet Museveni.
At a colourful ceremony, Kagame and the First Lady were presented with a bouquet of flowers by 9-year old, Clarisse Kageninka and entertained by a Ugandan cultural troupe, and received a 21-gun salute.
Several cabinet ministers, as well as other top government officials from both countries were present to welcome them.
Later, the two Heads of State received a report on the outcome of the 10th Joint Permanent Commission (JPC).
During the JPC meeting, held yesterday, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs reiterated the commitment in strengthening areas of cooperation, and commended the progress made since the last JPC meeting held in Kigali last year.
“We have moved so fast in some areas that, in less than one year, we have done what usually takes a few years in the normal JPC process,” Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, told the meeting.
During the JPC, Rwanda and Uganda agreed to strengthen cooperation on cross-border education, trans-border tourism and trade facilitation.
The two countries further pledged to accelerate cooperation on common infrastructure, especially transport, electricity and ICT. They also agreed on equal treatment for their citizens on matters regarding work permits.
Uganda’s International Relations Minister, Henry Okello Oryem, said that, while there had been some progress in having a budget proposal for border remarking, there was need to expedite the budget review process so that the funding can be secured at the earliest possible time.
The President and the First Lady were later treated to a State banquet organized in their honour
President Kagame will, Friday, address the Banyarwanda community and Friends of Rwanda in Uganda.
Some members of the Banyarwanda Community who spoke to The New Times, said they could not wait to meet the President and thank him for restoring dignity for Rwandans wherever they live.
“Rwanda is now on the world map as a success story, and this is all because of President Kagame. We are really proud of him,” Janet Kayitesi, a Kampala resident said, yesterday.
Gerald Kayitare, a resident of Lugazi in Mukono District said: “We are really excited to meet the President and thank him for promoting reconciliation and turning Rwanda around after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi”.
Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Frank Mugambage, emphasized that
it was the government’s policy to have all Rwandans, wherever they live, get on board as the country strives to become a middle income economy.
President Kagame will, today, during the NRM 26th anniversary celebrations in Kapchorwa, be presented with two prestigious liberation medals in recognition of his contribution in liberating Uganda. He was among the original 27 fighters who, on January 26, 1986, launched the struggle to liberate Uganda.