Ramkalawan extolled President Kagame on Wednesday as he began a two-day visit to Seychelles where he was invited as the guest of honour at the celebration of 47th National Day scheduled on 29th June 2023.
“I congratulate you personally for your leadership not only in Rwanda but also at the African Union level and as a world leader. You are an example to the whole world that Africa indeed has great leaders,” said Ramkalawan.
“You led your country through so many difficulties and today Rwanda is considered as one of the safest countries in the world. [...] We want to emulate your example,” he added.
Ramkalawan went on to say that President Kagame gave hope to the continent when he was the chairperson of the African Union where he came forward with solid plans.
“Today, we are still reading through the pages of your vision. And it’s that vision that Africa truly needs, not only to sustain itself but to silence the guns as we keep saying but at the same time to keep working in environment protection, strengthening economy of various countries as well as in the field of health and education,” he noted.
Among others, Ramkalawan reminisced on the fact that Rwanda, will later this year see the opening of a factory that will manufacture vaccines and considered it another great step for ‘the continent that is marred by so many illnesses’.
He underscored that the initiative will not only be beneficial to Rwanda but also to Seychelles as well as the rest of Africa.
Rwanda and Seychelles are both members of the Commonwealth and the Organization Internationale de La Francophonie (OIF).
President Kagame assumed Chairmanship of the Commonwealth in June last year as Rwanda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Ramkalawan also expressed gratitude to Kagame for the leadership he continued to show during his term expected to end next year.
“Earlier this year, at the coronation of King Charles III, we had a chance to discuss under your chairmanship the role of the youth. As this year is the Commonwealth year of the youth, we want to push our young people to greater heights,” he noted.
After holding discussions on the first day, Rwanda and Seychelles signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in different areas of mutual benefit including health, defence and security, tourism and agriculture among others.
Both countries also signed an MoU paving the way for visa exemption for their people.
Ramkalawan highlighted that his country will work closely with Rwanda, particularly mentioning that Rwanda has one of the best police academies which his country’s police forces will use at all levels.
He said that Seychelles wants to learn from Rwanda’s experiences in agriculture and hailed Rwandan troops intervention to fight terrorism in Mozambique.
“What we signed today marks the confirmation of the solid relations that we want to take forward,” noted Ramkalawan.
He highlighted that a delegation from Seychelles will visit Rwanda before the end of this year where contacts have been already established between various ministries.
As Ramkalawan said, the visit aims to explore other areas of cooperation and concretize what has been already signed.
“We look forward to continuing the friendship and sharing of our two peoples,” he noted.
On his part, President Kagame disclosed that he had very productive discussions with Ramkalawan noting that Seychelles and Rwanda are driven by common aspirations to improve the quality of life for their citizens working hand in hand with partners in the region and beyond.
Building on strong bilateral ties and bonds of friendship, Kagame said, both countries intend to deepen cooperation across strategic areas and areas of mutual benefit including health, defence and security, tourism and agriculture among others.
“For Seychelles and Rwanda, tourism is a key driver of economic growth. Collectively, there is a lot we can do to make the sector more sustainable and resilient.
Tourism creates enormous opportunities for our connectivity and commercial links , bringing businesses from Seychelles and Rwanda closer together,” he stated.
Kagame highlighted that Rwanda and Seychelles are united in their membership of international organizations where they had the opportunity to continue aligning priorities and views through these platforms.
The Head of State also expressed optimism for stronger collaborations between our two countries.
“In moments of uncertainty where the world is experiencing an overlapping crisis, we are even more determined to work together,” he stated.
President Kagame is visiting Seychelles for the second time. Meanwhile, his counterpart from the Seychelles, Ramkalawan, was in Rwanda for CHOGM last year.