The New Times (Kigali)

13 January 2013

Rwanda: Kagame, U.S. Senators Talk Trade Partnership

President Paul Kagame yesterday received a delegation of five Republicans from USA, and discussed issues concerning the promotion of trade between the two countries.

The delegation which is composed of two senators arrived in Kigali on a two-day visit yesterday, after trips to South Sudan and Ethiopia. They are scheduled to continue to West Africa after their Rwanda visit.

The Head of Delegation, Jim Inhofe, Senator from Oklahoma City, told journalists that the Republicans Party has the capacity and commitment to negotiate trade partnerships with the government of Rwanda to foster future cooperation.

"We appreciate what Rwanda has achieved in a very small period of time; the country's economic growth and low corruption levels are very impressive. The transformation that Rwanda has achieved under President Kagame has been so much- no other presidents were able to do this," Inhofe said.

"I have been here nine times and every time I come, I find something new. We are totally focused on opening trade links with Rwanda and President Kagame has shared with us the same desire."

Inhofe also serves as a member of the Republicans Foreign Affairs Committee and the African Affairs Subcommittee.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, commended the delegates, saying that Rwanda's trade potential has always been attractive.

"The Senators have a shared belief in the role of free enterprise in transforming African economies, a belief they share with the government of Rwanda. Their interest indicates how the US, Rwanda and Africa in general can enhance trade and business ties," Mushikiwabo said.

Other members of the delegation include John Boozman from Akansas, Steve Pearce from New Mexico, Erik Paulsen from Minnesota and Vernon Buchanan from Florida.

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