The Head of State made the remarks on Wednesday 6th July 2023 as he addressed participants of the 45th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Kagame is among dignitaries invited to attend the meeting that coincided with the organization’s celebration of its 50th anniversary.
Other guests include US State Secretary, Anthony Blinken, Chinese Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Hua Chunying and others.
As he delivered remarks, Kagame stated that the meeting took place at a time when Haiti , as a member of the block, is faced with a security crisis which cannot be overlooked.
He went on to say that Rwanda’s history is a testament that nothing is beyond repair.
“Rwanda and Haiti enjoy long-standing ties of friendship. The history of my country shows that no matter how bad things are, nothing is beyond repair, and there is always a way forward,” said Kagame.
The President emphasized that it is always the onus of leaders to take the leading step in desired transformations.
“The turning point starts with the leaders in the country, and the wider region, at different levels, coming together to forge a new, unified path. When that process begins to occur, then external support can be part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem,” he noted.
Kagame reminisced on Haiti’s situation at a time when the country has been faced with insecurity that began when the country’s President Jovenel Moïse was shot dead on 7th July 2021.
As of today, the United Nations shows that a large part of the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince, is controlled by armed groups that killed over 2000 people while more than 1000 were kidnapped in 2022.
The security crisis was an addition to other problems the country had been experiencing including food crisis, epidemics and drug trafficking.
Following the meeting, President Kagame and the Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr. Ariel Henry held a closed-door meeting for discussions on potential solutions to address the security challenges impeding Haiti’s progress.
Need for closer collaboration
Apart from the Haiti security crisis, President Kagame stressed the need for collaboration between the Caribbean and African countries.
“The horrors of the Middle Passage, and the indignities of colonialism, join our peoples in a shared story of struggle, survival, resilience and, ultimately, renewal,” he stated.
“Many intellectuals and professionals from the Caribbean served in Africa in the years after independence, helping to build our new institutions,” added Kagame.
The President further called for concerted efforts to reinforce the cooperation between the Caribbean and Africa.
“We need to come together in real terms and focus on concrete initiatives which address the challenges that nations like ours face today. It is possible to do so,” he remarked.
“As smaller countries, we gather strength by working together in our regional organizations, integrating our economies, and sharing infrastructure costs,” added Kagame.
Citing an example of partnership between Rwanda, Guyana and Barbados where they have embarked on a program of mutual support for the local manufacturing of vaccines and medicines; Kagame highlighted that the cooperation between Africa and the Caribbean is possible.
The Head of State disclosed that the cooperation can involve enabling the free movement of people by removing obstacles to travel and exchange.