Rwandan President Paul Kagame arrived in Kingston, Jamaica for his first ever visit to the country where is scheduled to spend three days aimed at strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation. He was welcomed by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen and Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a ceremonial welcome known as the Guard of Honour.
“A warm Jamaican welcome to His Excellency Paul Kagame. President of the Republic of Rwanda, and his delegation. 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,” said Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness via tweeter.
President Kagame began with a visit to the National Heroes Park, a botanical garden which serves as a burial site and permanent fixture honouring Jamaican heroes, Prime Ministers and cultural leaders with numerous monuments erected.
On the morning of Thursday, 14 April, President Kagame met with Jamaican Governor General, Sir Patrick Linton Allen before addressing Jamaica’s Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament at Gordon House.
The visit to Jamaica coincides with the country’s 60th anniversary of Independence, with year-long celebrations being held under the theme “Reigniting a Nation for Greatness”. President Kagame will participate in the launch of Jamaica 60, a series of activities celebrating 60th Independence of the country.
Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness will host a State Dinner in honour of President Kagame on the evening of 14 April.
On the third day of his visit, President Kagame will hold closed door discussions with Prime Minister Holness followed by bilateral discussions with members of both delegations. President Kagame and Prime Minister Holness will then witness the signing of several agreements of cooperation between Rwanda and Jamaica.
President Kagame will also meet with Opposition Leader of Jamaica and President of the People’s National Party, Mr. Mark Golding.
The Opposition People’s National Party is hailing the impending visit of Rwandan President Paul Kagame to Jamaica.
Opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs Lisa Hanna says Kagame has led his country with humility and distinction to overcome devastation, which is a testament to his courage, dedication, and vision for his people.
“His strategic policies have encouraged rapid economic growth and social stability in Rwanda. Furthermore, his steps have helped to strengthen the positive global impact of Africa in the eyes of the world. There’s much we can learn from his example,” said Hanna.
Hanna says she hopes that Kagame will receive the highest accolade that can be extended to any head of government, the ‘Order of Excellence’ on behalf of the people of Jamaica.
“What is more, President Kagame’s purposeful resolve to use Rwanda’s membership within the Commonwealth to promote the values of peace, security, and equal opportunities for all, has been steadfast. We anticipate that his voice and activism will forge a new era of progress within the Commonwealth when he assumes the Chairmanship and increases the process of regional cooperation and integration, especially within the developing world,” said Hanna.
To conclude his State Visit, President Kagame will join Prime Minister Holness for an interactive interview, “Think Jamaica” discussing various topics including the future of African – Caribbean partnerships.