Following the social media blitz surrounding Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s trip to Jamaica and Barbados, there is a huge interest from Africans to jet off to the region.
President Kagame, on an inaugural visit to Barbados, made this assertion on Saturday when he addressed a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
He said: “I just confirmed that there is a huge interest… not only in my country but in the continent to connecting not only with Barbados but the whole Caribbean. Just check social media and you will see a lot of comments about my visit here and to Jamaica. The comments, not just from my country, speak to that. Already, we are too late in a sense to do that. But it’s never too late to connect and make friends and partnerships. So, we definitely want to do that.”
President Kagame suggested visa waivers among other things, to make travelling more attractive to those coming on business or leisure.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mottley credited the leadership of the East African nation for being able to “turn their country around after the gravest of challenges”.
She described it as an inspiration to all nations in the 21st Century, stressing that it showed the opportunities that can be attained by a country that was focused and strategic in its planning and execution of its development programme.
She also praised Rwanda for making it easy to do business as evidenced by their track record of ranking No.2 in Africa and No. 38 in the world in this regard.
Ms. Mottley proffered the view that an area tabled for discussion earlier in the day was trading regulators. She believed that the shared knowledge in business on both sides would result in the “untangling of bureaucracy” and an ease of business across sectors in the island.
She also extended congratulations to the government and people of Rwanda on its upcoming 60th anniversary celebrations, adding: “That journey, as we all know, has not been in a straight line. But we do believe that your leadership has allowed Rwanda to become a shining star globally with respect to what is possible in a development arena.”
Earlier in the day, both sides held bilateral talks and agreed to cooperate in sports through cricket and road tennis, agriculture and horticulture, financial services and investment, among other areas. President Kagame and his delegation leaves the island on Sunday.