We Are Not Strangers to One Another – Kagame to Parliament of Jamaica

President Kagame speaking at the Jamaican parliament

President Paul Kagame has told the Jamaican community that Rwanda and their country have common traits and this should bear fruits.

The President is on three day state visit in the Caribbean island nation.

On second day of the visit yesterday, the president addressed the Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament of Jamaica.

This was after paying tribute to Marcus Garvey at National Heroes Park. More than a hundred years ago, the president said, Garvey envisioned ‘a united Africa for the Africans of the world’.

Kagame writing in the guests’ book at Jamaican parliament

The president said, that Garvey set a precedence of unity for the world.

“The ideas championed by Garvey, and many others on both sides of the  Atlantic  Ocean,  reverberated  in  Africa  as  well.  From  the struggle for independence, to the subsequent challenges of nation- building, the pan-African ideal has served as a guide for how things should be, even if we do not always live up to it in practice,” he said opening a page on how unity of people is paramount.

Thereafter, the president elaborated on Rwanda-Jamaica common traits and he said: “We are not strangers to one another. In our diversity, we share common traits. Our peoples are resilient, creative, and — as our common history shows — also indestructible.”

He said that Rwanda and Jamaica belong to a number of important multilateral bodies, including the Commonwealth and  the  Organization  of  African,  Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).

The joint session of Jamaican parliament listening to President Paul Kagame

This was an opportunity for the president to invite Jamaica to send a big representation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that is due in Kigali, June 2022.

The president said that, Jamaica is already contributing to Rwanda’s economy where the country already had several Jamaicans who come as representatives of leading international organizations.

“This has only made us want to see more people from Jamaica, and this region, in Rwanda,” the President said.

“As  Rwanda,  we  are  also  keen  to  cooperate  with  Jamaica  much more closely and share experiences in trade and investment, as well as national unity and citizen development.”

Arrival at parliament

The president suggested: “Let’s exchange with each other directly, and thereby honour the history  that  joins  us,  and  make  it  a  potent  force  for  practical cooperation in the modern world.”

At the multilateral level, President Kagame said that the Caribbean where Jamaica belongs and Africa can do more to boost cooperation where, instead of having their diplomats meet in a third place like New York or Geneva, they would be present in Caribbean and Africa respectively.

Efforts that may make it work would be channeled through the Africa- Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) platform which started in September last year.

President Kagame and Madam Speaker of the Jamaican parliament

“It is high time for Africa and the Caribbean to work together in a direct and sustained manner, both through our respective regional organizations    — CARICOM    and    the    African    Union    — and bilaterally,” Kagame said.

During this visit, Jamaica launched celebration of their 60th Independence which falls on August 6.

“Jamaica has many achievements of which it is rightly proud. On behalf  of  the  Government  and  people  of  Rwanda,  I  wish  to congratulate  you  here  today.  The  launch  of  the  Jamaica  60 celebrations  last  night  was  a  fitting  tribute  to  the  enormous progress Jamaica has made,” the President said.

“Independence is a date in history, but it is also a mindset.”

Meanwhile,  in the evening, Jamaican leaders hosted a State Dinner in honour of President Kagame.

 




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