Tanzanian President John Magufuli took a two-day trip to Rwanda this week, marking his first foreign trip since his election in 2015. During his time in Rwanda, President Magufuli met with his Rwandan counterpart, Mr. Paul Kagame, and visited an immigration facility along the Rwanda-Tanzania border.
At the border, the two heads of state launched the Rusumo One-Stop-Border Post and International Bridge. The refurbished facilities are expected to ease trade along the Central Corridor, which links Rwanda with the ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. The post is also intended to encourage travel across borders; President Kagame announced, “We want the number of people who cross this border to increase… because that will be to the benefit of both the people of Rwanda and the people of Tanzania.”
The visit, as President Kagame announced at a state dinner in Magufuli’s honor, signifies a new partnership between Rwanda and Tanzania. The leaders agreed to work together to move the East African Community (EAC) forward. This new friendship denotes a thaw between the two states, whose relations were tense after Tanzania accused Rwanda of backing former rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2013.
On Thursday, April 7, President Magufuli joined Rwandans in commemorating the country’s 1994 genocide and celebrating its survivors.
Jessica is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service studying International Politics and International Development. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and brunching–usually in that order. If you need her, she’s probably at Dolcezza “doing homework” and eating her weight in coffee-flavored gelato.