President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame on Monday started a two-day state visit to Djibouti, where they were received by President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and First Lady Kadra Mahamoud Haid.
The visit follows one by Djibouti President’s to Rwanda in March last year.
The two Heads of State first held a private meeting, before holding bilateral talks and meeting members of the press at a joint press conference at the Djibouti President’s Office.
They also oversaw the signing of five bilateral agreements: collaboration in ICT, an agreement on air services, reciprocal promotion and protection of investments, visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic and service passports, and the establishment of a joint commission between Rwanda and Djibouti.
In their statements, both Presidents highlighted the need for stronger African ties and the belief in a dignified Africa.
“Rwanda and Djibouti share close bilateral ties as well as a belief in the importance of a strong, dignified Africa,” Kagame said. “Our two countries desire closer collaboration on issues of common interest, in particular trade and investment. Our cooperation is not limited to these areas but extends to many others that our two sides find mutually beneficial.”
“We will continue to work together to advance integration in the region and continent, particularly through ongoing AU reforms and continue to advocate for greater unity. The goal being increased prosperity for Djibouti and Rwanda, our region & Africa,” he added.
President Omar Guelleh welcomed his Rwandan counterpart and delegation to their “second home, Djibouti” and expressed solidarity with the people of Rwanda as they commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis for the 23rd time.
“Rwanda and Djibouti are bound to shape special relations, thanks to our common willingness and commitment to promote trade and business and cultural ties,” he remarked. “As I am sure, you know that there are many opportunities that we have not exploited so far in order to strengthen our economic ties and foster growth in our countries. Among many, transportation remains a key sector to the business community; indeed the free movement of good and people between the two countries is necessary to enhance trade between our countries and would be a model for others.”
On Tuesday, President Kagame is scheduled to address the Djibouti National Assembly and visit the Port of Doraleh.