GABIRO, Rwanda, Mar 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for more mutually beneficial engagements between Kenya and Rwanda.
He said that the good relationship that exists between the two countries can be made better and more beneficial through people-to-people interactions.
“The relationship between our two countries is probably the best,” President Kenyatta said.
“The more we meet, the more we interact, the better we integrate as a people,” he added.
President Kenyatta spoke on Monday at the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Combat Training Centre in Gabiro where he addressed over five hundred top government and private sector officials who are attending the national leadership retreat.
The national leadership retreat is held annually and brings together leaders from all sectors of the Rwandan economy to discuss development programmes.
The President, who was on a short visit to Rwanda, said he was impressed by the national leadership retreat concept and promised to consider replicating it in Kenya.
While citing Rwanda’s top ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, he noted that the country, under President Kagame had risen from the devastation of war into a robust economy and a model of progress in Africa.
“I am proud of how Rwanda has emerged from the challenges of its past into a model economy. Rwanda is one of Africa’s shining stars,” he said.
The President, who earlier held private talks with his host, said that Kenya and Rwanda have been able to achieve a lot together in recent years and challenged the people of the two sister countries to engage more.
“As governments, we have been able to achieve so much. We have made it easier for our people and goods to move across our borders. We have created linkages in ICT and in other areas,” the President said.
Speaking on regional integration, President Kenyatta acknowledged that there exist challenges, which need to be addressed and called on leaders to work together in fixing them.
“It is true that we are faced with some challenges as neighbours and as a region. Through goodwill and good intentions, we will be able to resolve these challenges,” he said.
He added: “We need to connect more. Rwanda alone, Kenya alone will not make it but together we have tremendous potential to succeed.”
President Kagame thanked President Kenyatta for agreeing to speak at the retreat, saying the Kenyan leader is a true friend of Rwanda.
“You know you can have a brother who is not your friend. In President Kenyatta, I have a brother who is also a friend,” the Rwandan leader said.
On his way back to Nairobi, the President made a brief stopover in Uganda where he held private talks with President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe.