The Caribbean and Africa have a lot in common - Kagame

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 16 April 2022 at 09:44

President Paul Kagame has interacted with the youth from Jamaica where he revealed that Caribbean countries have deep connection with Africa that can be leveraged for mutual benefits.

The Head of State made the revelation as he joined Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness for ‘Think Jamaica 2022’, a public dialogue discussing various topics including the future of Africa-Caribbean partnerships.

Speaking to participants of the event, Kagame said that there is deep connection between Africa and the Caribbean countries.

“The Caribbean and Africa have a lot in common, beginning with people. There is that deep connection that the geographical distance can’t eliminate. So the first thing we have to do is create that environment and possibility for people to travel [for instance] from Caribbean to Rwanda and East Africa or other parts of Africa and vice versa,” he noted.

The Head of State observed that this can be achieved through fixing visa related issues.

“We have to deal with visa issues and make sure we create waivers so that we really encourage this connection knowing that we have interest in one another, we can benefit one another. There is a lot we can do, whether it is trade [and more] different things. But we have to be very practical with the right things first, which is first even to carry the message to people and say why not connect as close as we can. I think these are the practical things we have to do,” he noted.

Commenting on what he thinks about involving the youth in leadership positions, Kagame stressed that governments need to set policies ensuring that everyone feels represented while the youth have to make an effort to qualify for responsibilities.

“Young people should be ready to learn and take responsibilities. This one is not going to be handed to you. But rather you make an effort to make sure that you feel that sense of learning and responsibility which therefore should propel your to that higher level where you take these responsibilities,” he said.

“So, governments and government policies should be also making it easy and sensitive to the fact that everyone needs to be, feel they are participating or represented. That is why, let us say in government, there is need to have people of all ages starting with young people so that they grow with that sort of situation where they learn, take responsibility and knowing that there are others coming behind following in their footsteps. Policies must be sensitive to that, leaders must be and the connection should be complete,” added Kagame.

Jamaican Prime Minister, Andrew Holness said that Rwanda is good example with regards to its home grown solutions to build long-lasting development despite endured dark past.

“Rwanda is a perfect example of a country that has overcome challenges and struggles and they have done so remaining united. If you say what the lessons are, it will be first about resolving conflicts, a process of reconciliation. There will be divisions in every society, conflicts and difficult issues but the process to bring everyone together in the society to resolve conflict and get the society singularly focused on development, is a lesson for all countries,” he said.

President Kagame and Prime Minister Andrew Holness also held a tête-a-tête meeting and presided over the signing of bilateral agreements in the field of Political Consultations and in the field of tourism development and cooperation before addressing members of the press.

The Head of State who has been in Jamaica since Wednesday 13th April concluded State Visit on Good Friday to the country by participating in a public, government to government dialogue between the leaders of Rwanda and Jamaica.

He continued his tour of the Caribbean countries to Barbados where he was received at the Grantley Adams International Airport by Jerome Xavier Walcott, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados for an Official Visit.

Rwanda and Jamaica committed to deepen relations.
President Kagame and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness holding talks.
President Kagame and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements in different areas.
President Kagame and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing members of the press before concluding his state visit.