Uhuru’s visit a welcome gesture as Kenya and Rwanda strengthen ties

Friday November 1 2013

Rwanda recently hosted Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who made a landmark maiden visit since his election in the March 4 General Election.

It was not only Rwandans but Kenyans living in Rwanda who were delighted to engage the Kenyan leader on the various issues facing the two countries.

After coming to power, President Kenyatta started off where his predecessor Mwai Kibaki left in strengthening bilateral relations with Kigali.

President Kenyatta and President Paul Kagame have a lot in common — they are in the same age group, are tech-savvy leaders and are open to doing business.

The visit coincided with important events that were hosted in Kigali, which President Kenyatta was part of, such as the regional integration summit on the Customs Union and other infrastructure projects that will greatly benefit the East African region.

The Kenyan leader also hugely contributed to the Transform Africa Summit, which saw dignitaries from all over the world discuss the future of Africa’s information technology.

Rwanda has backed President Kenyatta all along. It was among the first countries to condemn the International Criminal Court’s treatment of the Kenyan leadership and the general handling of the case.

The relationship seems to be growing stronger. President Kagame has been to Kenya several times, which signals the good relations between the two countries.

Kenya is Rwanda’s biggest trading partner, which tells how much the countries relate. Also, the Kenyan expatriate community in Rwanda seems to have surpassed those from other countries in numbers.

Going forward, the two countries, together with Uganda and now South Sudan, are exploring means of establishing infrastructure between them and exploring the abundant shared natural resources.

This spirit, if sustained, will largely benefit the citizens of the region and spur the highly awaited economic development.