Rwanda, Seychelles waive visas, ink five pacts to deepen relations

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Esha Saxena Mandala
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Rwandans traveling to Seychelles will not be required to have visas, thanks to a new agreement signed between the two countries.

The visa exemption deal was reached on Wednesday, June 28, as part of the several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed during President Paul Kagame’s visit to Seychelles.

President Kagame, who is visiting alongside First Lady Jeannette Kagame, started a two day state visit to Seychelles on Wednesday, June 28, as part of the efforts to deepen bilateral relations.

Upon reaching the island nation, he was received by host President Wavel Ramkalwan.

The two Heads of State held a tete-a-tete before chairing a bilateral meeting of both countries.

The bilateral agreements signed aim at fostering cooperation in the field of defense and security, law enforcement, agriculture, health, and tourism.

In his press statement, host President Ramkalawan outlined that within law enforcement, Rwanda has one of the best police academies.

“We have agreed that our police force will be able to use the facilities of your academies at all levels. In the same way for defense and security, Rwanda continues to play a leading role,” he said.

“We realize that in the field of agriculture, Rwanda is again showing leadership on the African continent and small Seychelles would like to tap into the experience. The MOU signed will give our agricultural field a greater hope for improvements. In the field of health, tourism, and other areas, I think what we signed today marks the confirmation of the solid relationships that we want to further,” he added.

Deepen cooperation

Kagame said that discussions held at State House with his Seychellois counterpart were productive as Seychelles and Rwanda are driven by common aspirations to improve the life of their citizens, working hand in hand with partners in the region and beyond.

“Building on our strong bilateral ties, we intend to deepen our cooperation across strategic areas of mutual benefits. For Seychelles and Rwanda, tourism is a key driver of economic growth. Collectively, there is a lot we can do to make the sector more sustainable and resilient. Tourism creates enormous opportunities for air connectivity and commercial links bringing businesses from Seychelles and Rwanda closer together,” he said.

As part of his visit to Seychelles, Kagame also addressed the National Assembly in an extraordinary session on Wednesday, during which he urged lawmakers to build on the many successes of the African continent to find solutions that benefit both their people.

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