As former UK Prime Minister Theresa May was questioning the “legality, practicality and efficacy” of the home secretary Priti Patel’s plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is on a visit to Jamaica to strengthen the already strong ties between the two nations, with a focus on developing political and business cooperation between the two nations.
President Kagame arrived in Jamaica for a three-day state visit, which seeks to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation. He was welcomed by Governor General Patrick Allen and Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the Norman Manley International Airport.
While in Jamaica, President Kagame held talks with Governor-General Allen, then met PM Holness, among other government officials.
Jamaica’s office of the Prime Minister said in a statement that President Kagame’s visit had coincided with Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence and represents an important opportunity for the deepening of bilateral relations between the countries. The PM’s statement said that President Kagame’s visit will also help to reinforce the steadily relationship between the African continent and the Caribbean member countries (Caricom) region.
“This visit marks a new stage in our relationship and I look forward in particular to the continued collaboration towards the strengthening of the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Jamaica and Rwanda,” read part of the message from the Jamaican Prime Minister.
President Kagame held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Holness at Jamaica House, during which the leaders are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. He is the first Rwandan leader to pay a state visit to Jamaica and hold bilateral talks with PM Holness at Jamaica House during which the leaders were set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, before holding government-to-government panel discussion between respective delegations.
Concluding his State visit, President Kagame will join Mr Holness for an interactive interview, ‘Think Jamaica’ discussing various topics including the future of Africa and Caribbean partnerships. Rwanda will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in mid-June this year - gathering delegates from 54 states and will be attended by Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla. CHOGM was due to have been held in Kigali in June 2020 but has been postponed twice due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHOGM - the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making gathering - is held every two years and has selected Rwanda as host for their next gathering when they met in London in 2018.
A leading and attractive tourist destination, Rwanda is competing with other African destinations with rising tourism, with gorilla trekking safaris, scenery and a moth-watering investment environment attracting major business from across the world to visit and invest in this rising African destination.