President John Magufuli hosted Rwanda at a red carpet state dinner on Friday, congratulating the East African nation for major trends of the growing bilateral relations between the two countries.
This followed a state visit by Rwandese President Paul Kagame, who officiated the opening of the 40th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair currently going on at Mwalimu J. K. Nyerere Trade Fair Grounds in the city.
Speaking at the banquet, Mr Kagame said the common interests of the two sides are far greater than their differences. “The mutual relationship push Rwanda to do even more business with Tanzania in years to come,” Rwandese President, Mr Kagame said toasting back to his host, Mr Magufuli.
Janeth Magufuli and Janeth Kagame, First Lady of Tanzania and Rwanda respectively, were also in attendance of the grand state banquet. Vice- President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, Chief Secretary (CS) Eng Kijazi, former Prime Ministers Mizengo Pinda and Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, former National Assembly Speaker, Ms Anne Makinda, Deputy Speaker, Dr Tulia Ackson and religious leaders from the two countries were present as well.
The president went on to note that Tanzania is blessed with wide range of natural resources, yet it is an important gate way to the world. Mr Kagame lauded President Magufuli for positive transformation he has embarked on seven months after he was elected to the topmost job in the country.
He assured Tanzanians and Rwandese that the friendship between the two sides would continue to flourish, though there have been ups and downs. “We’re opening up partnerships and new opportunities for our people to prosper … We strive and prosper because of our differences but indeed we share the same interests,” Mr Kagame told a full-parked banquet.
More than 200 guests including political leaders, representatives of international organisations, diplomats, the State House and ministry of foreign affairs officials and CEOs of public and private entities mingled in a state-of-the-art conference hall built on the south-west on the white colored State House.
The national flags of Rwanda and Tanzania were hung in the hall and the banquet began with the police band playing national anthems of the two countries. Giving a welcoming note, Mr Magufuli extended warm welcome to the Rwandese president and other members allied with Kagame’s official delegation.
“May God bless our relationship and give long life to you President Kagame and wife, Janeth.” said President Magufuli adding that the relationship between Tanzania and Rwanda should benefit the citizens and that he believed there would be more for both countries to share.