President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame are expected to meet in London on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 which starts today.
If it goes ahead, this will be the first meeting for the presidents since last August when they met in Luanda, Angola and signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to resolve a dispute that has seen the border between two countries closed for at least a year.
According to an official from the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting will give a clear glimpse of whether the dispute is nearing resolution.
Over the Christmas holiday, Museveni sent Uganda’s United Nations permanent representative ambassador Adonia Ayebare to meet Kagame, a gesture the latter described as positive.
In the aftermath of the meeting, Uganda released nine Rwandans from custody and repatriated them to Kigali. In return, Rwanda also released four Ugandans – both steps seen as on the way to mend the stretched relations between the two countries. However, Rwanda last week shot dead another Ugandan and also arrested three others who were selling sorghum in Rwanda.
In London, Museveni travelled with Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa, whose attempt to reach compromise with Rwanda officials in the Kampala meeting last month failed. Officials said only Museveni and Kagame could resolve the dispute.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija and state minister Evelyn Anite also travelled with the president. The summit, which brings together 21 African countries with the UK and African companies, is one of those avenues the UK is seeking to endear itself more closely to Africa as it nears its complete exit from the European Union.
According to the UK government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use his opening speech to illustrate this modern partnership with examples of UK businesses like Dorset-based Low Energy Designs, which is installing smart street lighting across Nigeria, Northern Irish firm Lagan which has won the contract to build a business park in Uganda, and Diageo which is investing £67 million, to build a state of the art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa.”
During the summit, Rwanda with the World Bank will launch a 3-year, fixed-rate, RWF-denominated bond worth $40 million at the London Stock Exchange.