Rwanda President Paul Kagame and his Djibouti counterpart Ismael Omar Guelleh yesterday announced their countries’ intentions to strengthen partnership to grow trade and investment between the two countries.
The two leaders revealed the intentions at a state dinner in Kigali, which was organised in honour of President Guelleh who is on a two-day visit in the country.
Rwanda and Djibouti have good trade and diplomatic ties but Guelleh’s visit is expected to further encourage the trend.
“This visit can only advance our partnership particularly in trade and investment. Djibouti is a very important entry point to our region and a global crossroads in its own right. So, based on the fraternal relations we have, we can also take advantage of this and expand to other relevant activities,” President Kagame said at the state dinner.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is strategically located near the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
After arriving in the country yesterday, Guelleh visited the Special Economic Zone in Kigali’s Gasabo District, where Djibouti was offered a piece of land by the Government of Rwanda.
Rwanda was also offered a 20-hectare piece of land at the port of Djibouti in 2013, which Rwanda plans to develop and operate as a strategic base for its imports and exports.
President Kagame yesterday urged Rwandan officials to fast-track the development of the 20-hectare piece of land at the port of Djibouti, adding that the country is keen to develop opportunities in line with her desire to deepen economic integration in Eastern Africa of which Djibouti is an integral part.
His Djibouti counterpart lauded Rwandans for their determination to develop their country under Kagame’s leadership and clearly stated his country’s intentions to strengthen trade with Rwanda.
“We were proud to see Rwanda transform its economy and become an example for many of us across the continent,” President Guelleh said.
He added: “We are engaged with Rwanda to create exchange opportunities through our economic zones and we would like to leverage our mutual advantages”.
Both leaders invited their audience at the state dinner, which comprised of different dignitaries including top government officials in Rwanda and Djibouti as well as members of the diplomatic corps in Rwanda, for toasts to celebrate the two countries’ friendship, brotherhood, and plans to partner in advancing their prosperity.
The Presidents are expected to hold talks at Village Urugwiro today.