Rwandan Connection

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (right) arrived Thursday evening at the Bole International Airport in Addis Abeba for a three-day state visit. For Prime minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD), with Worqneh Gebeyehu (PhD), minister of Foreign Affairs, this marks the first visit by a Head of State, although Abiy has had a busy itinerary, shuttling around the country and abroad almost non-stop. Kagame held bilateral talks with Abiy at the National Palace before heading south of the capital for a tour of the Hawassa Industrial Park, a flagship project of the Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) which cost a quarter of a billion dollars and became operational two years ago. The President also met with Ethiopia’s track-and-field athlete, Haile Gebreselassie, and was presented with a cow and a calf as a gift.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister is relatively new to the nation’s politics, and Kagame has served as President since the start of this century.

“After fighting for freedom, it’s difficult to establish institutions,” Abiy spoke of his guest in Hawassa. “But when you go to Rwanda, you can see how this leader has changed the country.”

Both Abiy and Kagame have a background in the devastating early 1990s Rwandan Civil War. Abiy served as a member of a United Nation’s led peacekeeping mission in Kigali after the war, while Kagame was head of the rebel force credited with ending it. Rwanda has since become one of the fastest growing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting it will grow by 7.2pc in 2018, trailing Ethiopia’s 8.5pc within the region. Both nation’ plan to reach a middle income status in the next decade, and are one of eight countries in the region that have signed the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA), an international initiative to foster private investment.

Published on May 26,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 943]



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