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Kagame Meets Rwanda’s Friends, Partners at WEF

by Dan Ngabonziza
8:33 pm

President Kagame meets with Fifa President Gianni Infantino on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum

The ‘Snowiest World Economic Forum’ as many have termed this year’s 48th global gathering, is on its third day.

President Kagame has been meeting several partners and friends of Rwanda on the sidelines of the forum.

The President has met and held talks with at least twelve high level officials ahead of his expected talks with US President Donald Trump on Friday, January 26.

On Thursday afternoon, the president met Gianni Infantino, president of World Football Association (FIFA).

President Kagame meets Swiss President Alain Berset on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Yesterday

Previously, the president had met Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich; South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Swiss President Alain Berset.

He also met Prime Minister of Ethiopia Halemariam Desalegn former UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.

President Kagame and Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia

Others who held talks with President Kagame include Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma, Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Foundation and IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo.

All the personalities that met with Kagame have a special bond with Rwanda.

For example, in February it was FIFA President Gianni Infantino that visited Rwanda and upon arrival, he went straight to Amahoro National Stadium to watch a match between Police Fc and Rayon Sports. Later in June, President Paul Kagame visited the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich – he was given a 45-minute guided tour of football history.

President Kagame meets with David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

In November, Rwanda submitted the bid as required to the world football governing body to host the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2019. The feedback is not yet given but Infantino, while in Rwanda could not hide his wish to Rwanda to improve its soccer talents.

“Rwanda football association should not relent its effort in developing young people into international soccer stars,” said Infantino then.

President Kagame meets with Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The countries whose officials met President Kagame have been building cordial relations with Rwanda.

In July 2010, while President Paul Kagame was in a state visit in Israel, Netanyahu was quoted as saying; “We have pledged, I think both our peoples, one simple pledge: ‘Never again.’ Never again – We, who witnessed the greatest holocaust in history, you who witnessed perhaps one of the most recent ones, never again. That’s another great bond between us.”

President Kagame and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia

In 2015, Rwanda and Ethiopia suggested new development models they believe can help Africa break away from the prescribed Western models.

President Kagame(R) and Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group

The models were suggested at a high-level inaugural symposium organized by the ‘Meles Zenawi Foundation’ (MZF) in partnership with the African Development Bank.

After the first day of the ongoing World Economic Forum, Kagame tweeted: “Productive first day in Davos where I had insightful discussions with PM Erna Solberg, SA Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma and IFAD President Gilbert Houngbo. Looking forward to more discussions in the coming days.”

President Kagame(L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel

Last night after meeting other officials, Kagame took to his Twitter and said: “In addition to a rich session on peacebuilding in Africa, I had very productive exchanges with Swiss President Alain Berset, PM Desalegn, PM Netanyahu, David Cameron and Cherie Blair of Cherie Blair Foundation. Always a pleasure to connect with Rwanda’s many friends and partners attending World Economic Forum.”

President Kagame(L) and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway