On the invitation of his Benin counterpart Patrice Talon, President Paul Kagame and the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame, are expected to kick off a three-day state visit in the west African country, from April 14 to 15 -a visit aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries.
According to a communique from the office of the President of Benin, will touch down at Cotonou International Airport this Friday where he will be welcomed by a government delegation and guard of honour before commencing the visit, during which he will hold discussions with President Talon.
President Talon will welcome President Kagame at the Palais de la Marina, where they will hold a tête-à-tête which will be followed by a working session with members of delegations from both sides. This working session will lead to the signing of various agreements between Rwanda and Benin.
The two Heads of State will issue a joint communique after which they will address a joint press conference on the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Among other things, the two leaders will discuss a number of issues including trade, investment promotion, exchange of expertise, tourism, facilitation free movement of goods and people, air transport between Kigali and Cotonou, textile industry and the fight against terrorism in the region and the continent.
“The visit is within the framework of strengthening of relations between Benin and Rwanda, the two brotherly countries signed, during the first session of the Great Joint Commission for Cooperation between the two countries which was held on 29 and September 30, 2017 in Rubavu (Rwanda),” the communique says.
Rwanda and Benin signed agreements in the fields of ICT, construction service, environment and sustainable development, which the two countries say have enabled increased cooperation between the people of both nations.
On Saturday, President Kagame will visit the Development Agency of Sèmè City, the International City of Innovation and Knowledge, where he will interact with young entrepreneurs, innovators and students.
He will also visit the Place de l’Amazone, in honor of the women of Benin, and the Monument to the Devoted erected in the Garden of Mathieu.
Rwanda and Benin hold close ties, with President Talon regularly coming to Kigali on working visits while the two leaders meet regularly in different settings across the globe. President Talon’s last state visit to Rwanda was in August 2016.
President Kagame and President Patrice Talon last met in December last year on the sidelines of US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C where they discussed ongoing areas of collaboration including capacity building and economic partnership. They committed to establish additional areas of cooperation.