News from the OPM


1. At the invitation of the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, paid a State Visit to Jamaica from 13th to 15th April 2022.  The Visit, initially planned for 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was rescheduled for 2022 as a part of the year-long celebration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence.
2. The visit provided the opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations between Jamaica and Rwanda and to foster greater trade and investment; promote technical cooperation; as well as to develop a formalised framework for engagement between the two Governments.
3. The President was accompanied by Dr. The Honourable Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning; Ms. Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Development Board; His Excellency Claver Gatete, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations and High Commissioner for the Republic of Rwanda to Jamaica, resident in New York and several members of his support team.4. President Kagame was received upon arrival by His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor-General, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, PC, MP and other senior government officials.5 The President paid a courtesy call on His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor-General, and the Most Honourable Lady Allen.6. There was also a courtesy call on the President by Mr. Mark Golding, MP, Leader of the Opposition.

BILATERAL RELATIONS7. President Kagame and Prime Minister Holness discussed matters of mutual interest, including an exchange of perspectives on the current political, economic and social situations in their countries, as well as opportunities for strengthened cooperation. 8. A bilateral meeting was also convened at the Ministerial and technical level between Jamaica and the Republic of Rwanda, during which bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest were discussed.9. Stemming from the discussions on economic issues and technical cooperation, it was agreed that efforts would be focused on the promotion and implementation of a specific programme through which periodical consultations may occur to review and explore possible means of collaboration in areas such as Agri-business, Trade and Investment, Logistics and Special Economic Zones, ICT, Health, Tourism, Sport and Culture.10, It was acknowledged that tourism was a major industry with significant contributions to economic and social development an important source of foreign exchange and income for the respective countries that facilitated important linkages with other sectors, including culture and local manufacturing.11. Taking into account the trade and investment flows between Jamaica and Rwanda, it was noted that trade presented many challenges given the distance and the lack of a direct trade route between the countries. In this connection, the two sides committed to enhancing their trade relationship and agreed to encourage measures for joint action to promote business and investment opportunities.12. The importance of the agricultural sector as a contributor to, inter alia, GDP, employment and foreign exchange earnings in Jamaica and Rwanda was underscored. Consequently, both sides agreed to share best practices and, where possible, collaborate in areas such as livestock research, technology in agriculture, climate-resilient agriculture, coffee and fisheries.13. In the areas of sport and culture, it was noted that there was significant scope for cooperation given that they contribute significantly to the promotion of national harmony and unity. Both sides committed to promote bilateral cooperation in these areas through inter-institutional collaboration and the exchange of best practices and experiences.

REGIONAL AND MULTILATERAL ISSUES14. There was an exchange on the future of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States – European Union (OACPS-EU) relations, where the respective sides committed to continued cooperation within the framework of the new OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement.15. The excellent relations between Jamaica and Rwanda in the international sphere were reiterated. The two sides agreed that participation in these fora provided tremendous benefits for collaboration for the prosperity and development of the peoples of both the Caribbean and Africa.16. The non-discriminatory nature of climate change and its adverse impact on sustainable development were underscored. Both sides emphasized the need for increased cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels to tackle this phenomenon, in keeping with the commitments made in international fora, including the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Partnership. In this regard, the countries reiterated their commitment to contribute to the successful implementation of mitigation strategies and outlined their expectations with respect to the 27th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Egypt in November 2022.17. Prime Minister Holness and President Kagame, following the conclusion of their meeting, joined their respective delegations and delivered remarks in which they welcomed the productive exchange. They underscored the importance of the concluded Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations as a demonstration of the strong commitment to enhance collaboration between both countries and to cooperate in areas of mutual benefit.18. Both sides also welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tourism Development and Promotion between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda.  They acknowledged that the signature of this MOU presented another step towards increasing commercial ties, as well as facilitating greater people-to-people contact. The importance of working together to pursue the effective implementation of the MOU was further emphasised.

SPECIAL EVENTS19. President Kagame delivered an address to a Joint Sitting of the Houses of Parliament which was well-received.20. The President was represented by the Honourable Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, at the launch of “Jamaica 60,” the official start to the year-long celebrations commemorating Jamaica’s 60th Anniversary of Independence, during which congratulations were expressed to the people of Jamaica on their momentous achievements.21. His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor-General, and the Most Honourable Lady Allen, hosted President Kagame at a State Dinner, during which the Governor-General brought remarks conveying the importance of Jamaica-Rwanda relations. President Kagame in his response conveyed his appreciation for the dinner.22. Both Heads of Government participated in the THINK JAMAICA 2022 Government-to-Government and Public Dialogue, in which they engaged parliamentary representation, members of civil society, the private sector, youth, as well as the wider public on issues of concern and interest to Jamaica and Rwanda.23. The President visited the National Heroes’ Circle where he laid a wreath at the shrine of the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey, National Hero, in honour of his work and dedication to the upliftment of the people of Africa and of African descent.

CONCLUSION24. Prime Minister Holness expressed his pleasure at hosting President Kagame in Jamaica in such a significant year and congratulated the Republic of Rwanda on the milestone achievements over the last 28 years.25. President Kagame reiterated his appreciation to the Prime Minister for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to himself and his delegation.  He also indicated that he was looking forward to welcoming the Prime Minister to Kigali, Rwanda, to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in June 2022.26. President Kagame also, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Rwanda, conveyed congratulations and best wishes to Jamaica on the country’s 60th anniversary of Independence.27. Both Prime Minister Holness and President Kagame expressed their confidence that the Visit would result in the strengthening of ties and increased cooperation between Jamaica and Rwanda.

Issued in Kingston, Jamaica on 15th April 2022.