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E.A.C: JPM Makes His First Foreign Trip to Rwanda

Dar/Kigali: From his nickname, “What would Magufuli do?” President John Magufuli will today visit Rwanda in his first foreign trip since he was elected last year. Dr Magufuli will join his Rwandan counterpart, Mr Paul Kagame, in commemorating the country’s 1994 genocide during the visit.

Rwanda’s Kagame and Tanzania’s Magufuli during their first meeting.

The official trip, which will also be Dr Magufuli’s first in the East African Community (EAC) region, was confirmed in media reports in Rwanda yesterday.

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

President Magufuli 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 in that it comes at a time of a thaw in relations between the two countries.

President Kagame recently praised Dr 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.

By Robert Muriisa.

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