What you need to know about Macron’s visit to Rwanda

On 23 February 2021 at 09:13

French President, Emmanuel Macron is planning for maiden visit to Rwanda expected in May 2021, at a time when Rwanda will be commemorating the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

In November last year, Macron announced plan for a visit to Rwanda in 2021, aimed at strengthening existing bilateral relations.

“First of all, I am planning for visits to Angola and South Africa that had been suspended due to health conditions. I am hopeful that I will be able to make the visits within few weeks ahead and later visit Rwanda in 2021,” he told Jeune Afrique.

The date and month for the visit have not yet been confirmed but it is reported that the situation will depend on the status of COVID-19 pandemic.

Macron’s visit to Rwanda is expected before 18th May 2021 because France plans to host France-Africa investment summit in which over ten African head of states are invited.

In 2019, Macron was invited to Rwanda to attend the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. At the time, Macron sent the delegation of France parliamentarians including Sira Sylla and the French Rwandan born Member of Parliament, Herve Berville.

In May 2018, President Paul Kagame invited Macron as he attended Viva Technology Summit that brought together CEOs of different technology start-up companies and potential innovators in Paris, France.

Macron was again invited in October 2018 after the General Assembly of the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF).

At the time, Kagame told RFI and France 24 that Macron was invited to visit Rwanda since he took office in May 2017.

Rwanda, France relations have been on good progress since Macron took office in 2017.

The latter has demonstrated willingness to change France, Africa foreign policy and building strong relations with partners unlike his predecessor, François Hollande.

President Kagame recently told Jeune Afrique that there has been progress to both countries’ relations since Macron was elected in comparison with the past.

Rwanda, France relations wavered in the past over the role France is accused to have played during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

In April 2019, France President, Emmanuel Macron established of the commission made of eight experts in history and researchers analyzing writings kept in archives of the country indicating France activities in Rwanda between 1990-1994 to come up with the truth on the role of France in the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Rwanda, France diplomatic relations date back in 1962 after obtaining Independence.

If he comes to Rwanda, Macron will be the second French president landing in the country of thousand hills after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Nicolas Sarkozy is the only France president who visited Rwanda on 25th February 2010 following the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

Rwanda, France relations have been on good progress since Macron took office in 2017. Photo Village Urugwiro