Japan has not been a major inflow of investment into Rwanda, but President Kagame seems to be interested in exploring what the Asian Economic power could offer, since the two countries share friendly ties.
President Kagame told Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, that Japan is not only a good friend of Rwanda, but also a good partner for Africa and that he was looking forward to “deepening our mutually beneficial cooperation in many areas.”
Rwanda’s trade with Japan amounted to US$57 million in 2017.
Kagame, who, alongside the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, had earlier paid a courtesy call to Japanese Emperor, Akihito and Empress Michiko, said that Rwanda appreciates the friendship and cooperation with Japan.
The visit, he said, was meant to learn more on how to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.
“We also want to increase trade and investment between Rwanda and Japan,” Kagame said and added that it was in that respect that he had been accompanied by a delegation of business executives from Rwanda.
Kagame would later today showcase one of Rwanda’s flagship projects, the Kigali Innovation City, in a roadshow that was part of the Japan-Rwanda business forum.
“Japan is also a good partner for Africa. We look forward to deepening our mutually beneficial cooperation in many areas, during the upcoming TICAD Summit in Yokohama,” he added.
“The African Union will continue to work with Japan and other global partners, in the reforms of the UN Security Council, to make it more relevant to today’s realities,” said Kagame, who is also the chairperson of the African Union.
Kagame confirmed his attendance during the upcoming TICAD Summit in Yokohama and also invited the Japanese Premier to visit Rwanda, “at a time of your convenience.”
First Lady tour
On the sidelines of this working visit, the First Lady took part in a cultural experience known as ‘Ikebana’ the art of flower arrangements.
She was hosted on a visit to the Ashinaga Headquarters, hosted by Founder and President of Ashinaga, Mr. Yohiomi Tamai.
The visit was also attended by Mrs Yukie Seki, spouse to the Ambassador of Japan to Rwanda, Director of Education and Admissions for the Ashinaga Africa Institute and; Mrs Sayo Ukiya, Admissions Manager of Ashinaga as well as a Rwandan student currently benefitting from the institution.
Ashinaga is a 50-year-old Japanese non-governmental organisation that aims to protect the rights of orphans and eradicate poverty, as well as provide support to orphans to access higher education.
The Ashinaga Africa Institute is supporting 5 Rwandan students, including 2 currently in Japan.