President Paul Kagame on Monday arrived in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo for a three-day State Visit where he was received by his Congolese counterpart President Denis Sassou Nguesso.
The Head of State addressed a joint session of the Congolese Parliament and was later hosted to a State Banquet by President Sassou Nguesso.
“The people of Rwanda and the Republic of Congo are united by a common vision of a stable and prosperous region. We also share the aspiration to bring African countries and people together, working for a strong, thriving continent,” President Kagame told the Congolese Parliament.
President Kagame also urged the Parliamentarians to take action towards achieving continental prosperity:
“We know the problems that Africa faces. And we also know the solutions. What is missing is for us to move together, from words to action, with a sense of urgency. We cannot take pride in saying the right things, for decades, and then find ourselves many years from now, having said the right things, but not actually achieved much. We need to move to deliver what we have promised ourselves, but above all promised our citizens,” President Kagame said.
“It is high time to do better,” President Kagame added.
President Kagame took time to speak about the 28th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and thanked countries that stood with Rwanda in its most difficult time, including Congo Republic.
“This week in Rwanda, as it happens every April, marks a sober period, when we commemorate twenty-eight years since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. For Rwandans, it is a time to remember, and also recommit to strengthening our national unity,”
“We thank our friends and partners from around the world, for the solidarity expressed during this time. We appreciate the support of the Government of Congo, represented by the Minister for International Cooperation, Denis Christel Sassou Nguesso, at the commemoration ceremony held here in Brazzaville,” President Kagame said.
He told the legislative assembly that Rwandans want to make sure that the hard lessons of the tragedy are not wasted, but rather used to make citizens better people, capable of building a country that they deserve, and contributing to the well-being and success of the African continent.
“Today, our continent is facing challenges on multiple fronts. The Covid19 pandemic has shown us that no one country has the capacity to solve global challenges alone, and that we must work together to save lives, and manage the consequences of threats that affect us all,”
“We have also been reminded, once again, of the importance of a robust national healthcare system, and the urgency of preparing for future health crises. We should also apply this kind of readiness to any other kind of crisis,” he said
The Head of State said that health remains an important aspect for the continent, which requires increased domestic financing, something he said is a priority for the African Union, which he said is tracking progress on an annual basis.
“A strong regulatory environment is also essential to our collective efforts. The newly established African Medicines Agency, will enable our continent to regulate and approve its own high-quality vaccines and medicines. Both our countries are signatories to this treaty, and we hope that Congo will proceed to ratification soon,”
“Notably, Rwanda, as well as Ghana and Senegal, is in the process of establishing a manufacturing facility for the production of mRNA vaccines, in partnership with BioNTech, the African Union and the European Union,” he pointed out.
President Kagame said that the new capability will increase access to vaccines and other medicines, both domestically and for the wider region. He said the initiative will also transfer knowledge and know-how, which is important for Africa’s health security.
Peace & Security
President Kagame also highlighted the importance of peace and security on the continent, which is a precursor to development and other goals the continent has set for itself.
“Peace and security in Africa remain high on the agenda, and both Rwanda and Congo are committed to efforts to resolve ongoing difficult situations, including in the Sahel region, Ethiopia and Somalia. We appreciate the role played by His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso as the Chairperson of the African Union High Level Committee on Libya,”
“Rwanda continues to be active in United Nations Peacekeeping missions, with over five thousand troops currently serving in the Central African Republic and South Sudan,” the Head of State said.
On the second day of the State Visit, the two Heads of State will hold a tête-à-tête followed by a bilateral meeting alongside their respective delegations. Following the bilateral talks, representatives from both delegations will sign bilateral agreements in the sectors of economic partnership for the promotion and protection of investments, mining, SMEs and handcrafts, culture and arts, as well as youth, sport, and civic education.
President Kagame accompanied by his host President Sassou Nguesso will also visit a milk factory in Oyo town.