Kagame now in Jamaica for three-day State visit
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, on Wednesday, commenced on a three-day State visit by Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Leader of the Opposition Mark Golding, and senior Government officials.
Kagame landed Wednesday at Norman Manley International Airport.
Chief Justice Bryan Sykes and Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, the Chief of Defence Staff, were also among the hundreds of officials that welcomed the Rwandan president.
Among other things, the East African president will conduct bilateral meetings with Holness.
His visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence.
This year, Rwanda also marks 60 years of independence.
His first item of business was to lay a floral tribute at the National Heroes Park’s memorial to Jamaica’s first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Later this evening, on the grounds of Jamaica House, the Rwandan leader will join in the launch of “Jamaica 60.”
On Thursday, Kagame paid a courtesy visit at Kings House to Sir Patrick and Lady Allen.
At 2:00 p.m., the Rwandan president will address members of Jamaica’s bi-cameral legislature during a joint session of the Houses of Parliament.
On Thursday afternoon, Kagame met with Opposition Leader Mark Golding.
On Friday, the Rwandan president conducted a bilateral meeting with Holness at Jamaica House.
For the next two years, Rwanda’s president will serve as the incoming Chairman of the Commonwealth Conference of Heads of State and Government.
Kagame will host the Commonwealth’s next summit in Rwanda, during which a decision will be made on who will serve as secretary general for the following four years.
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and incumbent Baroness Patricia Scotland considered to be the frontrunners for the position at the moment.
In a statement to Parliament last week, Holness said that the Jamaican government had no intention of discussing the secretary general race with Rwanda’s leader.
As head of the Rwandan Patriot Front, Kagame beat Hutu extremist troops, bringing an estimated 800,000 victims to an end during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
In 2000, he was elected the country’s sixth president.
He was re-elected in 2010 and again in 2017, with a pledge to maintain the country’s stability and progress.
Kagame has been lauded for bringing in reforms that have resulted in Rwanda achieving exceptional socioeconomic and political advancement, peace, stability, and social harmony.
The nation, which has a population of roughly 12.3 million people, 50% of whom are under the age of 20, has one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, rising at an annual rate of nearly 8%.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the newly appointed Rwandan Ambassador Claver Gatete submitted his credentials to the Governor-General.
Gatete served in Kagame’s Cabinet as finance and infrastructure minister and was selected earlier this year as Rwanda’s ambassador-designate and permanent representative to the United Nations.
He previously served as Rwanda’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and head of the national bank.
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