President Paul Kagame and UK Prime Minister on Thursday morning met at Urugwiro Village where they held talks on a number of issues ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2022) official opening.
PM Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson arrived in Kigali on Thursday morning and were welcomed by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in charge of the East African Community, Prof. Nshuti Manasseh and the UK High Commissioner to Rwanda, Omar Daair, before head to Urugwiro Village.
“President Kagame received the Rt. Hon @BorisJohnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who is in Kigali for #CHOGM2022. The two leaders held talks on existing partnerships between Rwanda and the UK including the recent Migration and Economic Development Partnership.”
Rwanda and the United Kingdom signed a partnership agreement in April which would see the two nations work together to relocate asylum seekers, in what was touted as the first of its kind, bold move that could help address the global immigration crisis.
Both UK and Rwanda say they are still committed to the deal despite some legal challenges which led to the delay in the first flight that would bring the first group. PM Johnson and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel say the partnership will forge ahead in coming months.
While in Rwanda, PM Johnson will announce, during CHOGM, a raft of new trade and investment initiatives to create jobs, growth and shared prosperity across the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth brings together a third of the world’s population, including some of its fastest-growing economies and cities. Investment is already 27 percent higher between Commonwealth countries and bilateral trading costs are on average a fifth lower due to shared language and legal and economic systems – known as the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’.
According to 10 Downing Street, the announcements aim to capitalise on this unique union, supporting economic development overseas while fostering new markets for British expertise and exports.
The Prime Minister will drive this agenda forward when he meets innovative UK companies like Bboxx and Ampersand at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Kigali later today, as well as holding meetings on the UK-backed African Continental Free Trade Agreement and future of sustainable aviation fuel. He will be joined by John Humphrey, the newly-appointed HM Trade Commissioner for Africa.
“It is an underappreciated fact that our unique union of nations is buzzing with economic activity. Trade and commerce ties criss-cross continents, greased by shared language and legal systems,”
“The Commonwealth contains some of the world’s fastest growing economies and dynamic cities, from Chennai to Cape Town. The new initiatives we are launching today will ensure the UK is at the forefront of seizing opportunities, driving shared growth and prosperity for the benefit of all of our people. I am more optimistic than ever that the people of Africa and every member of the Commonwealth can thrive and prosper through free enterprise.” Prime Minister Johnson said in a statement.
The UK is also set to introduce new Platinum Partnerships to turbocharge our trade with key Commonwealth countries, as well as five new virtual Centres of Expertise to provide in-depth advice and coaching on green growth, infrastructure, financial services, public finance and trade.
The Prime Minister will also confirm plans to launch the ambitious Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) in the coming weeks, replacing the Generalised Scheme of Preferences we had under the EU to reduce costs and simplify trading rules for 65 developing countries. The DCTS will reduce import tariffs on foodstuffs, clothing and other items by over £750m per year, benefiting businesses in 18 Commonwealth countries and helping to bring down prices for UK consumers.
This builds on the UK’s financial and technical support for the African Continental Free Trade Area, which is expected lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and generate $450 billion for African nations – nine times more than they received in development aid in 2019.
The Commonwealth’s GDP has risen by a quarter since 2017 and is forecast to jump by close to another 50 per cent to $19.5 trillion over the next five years, creating exciting new export markets for UK businesses. Later today, the PM is expected to set out transformative new investments in clean and green technology at the Commonwealth Business Forum.