Magufuli to visit Rwanda in maiden foreign trip since election

Wednesday April 06 2016

Tanzanian president John Magufuli. PHOTO | AFP

Tanzanian President John Magufuli will today visit Rwanda in his first foreign trip since he came to power last year.

Mr Magufuli will join his Rwandan counterpart, Mr Paul Kagame, in commemorating the country’s 1994 genocide during the visit.

The official trip, which will also be Mr Magufuli’s first in the east African region, was confirmed by media reports in Rwanda yesterday.

In Dar es Salaam, the acting Director of Presidential Communications, Mr Gerson Msigwa, confirmed to The Citizen that Mr Magufuli would make the trip.

The Tanzanian leader has been busy domestically since taking over from Mr Jakaya Kikwete, spearheading a crackdown on corruption and instilling discipline in the public sector.

Unlike his predecessor, who was known for his frequent foreign trips, President Magufuli has not been in a hurry to go abroad and has skipped at least five key international meetings since becoming president.


His trip to Rwanda is significant as it comes at a time of thawing relations between the two countries.

President Kagame recently praised Mr Magufuli’s style of leadership, saying he believes he would help the EAC move forward.

Rwandan media revealed that the two-day working visit would begin with the official opening of the Rusumo one-stop border post connecting the two countries before the two presidents hold a joint press conference.

On the second day of his visit tomorrow, President Magufuli will join Rwandans at the 22nd commemoration of the Rwandan genocide.

Presidents Magufuli and Kagame, along with the countries’ first ladies, will lay wreaths and light the memorial flame and later join Rwandans in a “walk to remember” before attending a night vigil at Amahoro National Stadium in the capital Kigali.