All Africa 20 April 2017
By Collins Mwai
President Paul Kagame has said that African unity is the most practical way for the continent to reach its potential and to make the most of globalisation.
President Kagame made the remarks in Djibouti yesterday while addressing the country’s parliament and cabinet on the last day of his two-day official visit.
Kagame told the lawmakers that the continent has everything needed to create opportunities to grow and triumph against prevailing challenges.
“Africa has everything needed to create the opportunities for a hopeful present and bright future for all of us. We are animated by universal values and principles but each country’s challenges are unique. The most successful nations act based on a clear understanding of their own circumstances and history, responding to the needs of citizens, and with their full participation,” Kagame said.
Making the most of opportunities and registering progress, he said, required the continent’s unity.
“However, we benefit greatly from learning from each other’s experiences. We must also cooperate and speak with one voice, as a continent. Whatever challenges we have, both collectively and in our respective countries, are easier to address when we stay united,” he added.
The President also called for the involvement of the legislators in the implementation of the African Union reforms adopted by heads of state during the African Union Summit in January this year.
Noting that the reforms, which are currently underway, will make the union efficient, fit-for-purpose, and financially sustainable, Kagame called on them to ensure citizens’ ownership of the reforms.
“As African legislators, we count on you to be strong advocates for the reform process, particularly in ensuring that citizens understand what the planned changes mean, and facilitating their full participation,” he said.
President Kagame reiterated the vision of the two governments to work together and forge closer ties characterised by increased investments, trade and free movement for shared prosperity.
“We want more Rwandans and Djiboutians to visit each other, learn from each other, invest in each other’s countries, and do more business together, as well as with the rest of the world. Indeed, the solidarity between Rwanda and Djibouti is a firm foundation for our joint pursuit of social and economic transformation,” the Head of State said.
Commenting on Kagame’s visit Mohamed Ali Houmed, the President of the country’s national assembly, said that it reflects the willingness for partnership and cooperation.
“This visit serves as a demonstration of political will to partner with the Republic of Djibouti,” he said.
Houmed commended Rwanda for progress in multiple aspects including; inclusive socioeconomic development, visionary reconstruction, and development of the country.
He also recognised Rwanda’s role in women empowerment and rights, sustainable development and environmental protection among others.
On behalf of Djibouti’s national assembly, Houmed expressed their willingness to promote interaction of citizens of the two countries as well as the establishment of an inter-parliamentary group for closer cooperation.
During Kagame’s visit to the Horn of Africa, the two nations signed five bilateral cooperation pacts.
The agreements are in key areas including; air services, visa exemption for diplomatic and service passport holders, reciprocal promotion and protection of investments, establishment of joint commission and a protocol agreement on ICT cooperation.