“We have started a dialogue which will bring our nations together. Our country is inviting Turkish businessmen who have not visited Rwanda,” said Kagame on Thursday in İstanbul, where he is on a three-day visit at the invitation of a Turkish business club. Answering questions from the press at İstanbul’s Atatürk International Airport upon his arrival, Kagame praised Turkey’s recently launched “African initiative.” He also spoke about Rwandan investment opportunities that might appeal to Turkish businessmen, emphasizing Rwanda has significant potential for investment in the fields of mining, tourism and construction.
Later during a meeting with the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), prominent Turkish businesspeople and investors, Kagame mentioned that Rwanda can be a door to other African countries. During the meeting Kagame met with a delegation of Turkish businessmen that included Ihsan Kalkavan, Ahmet Çalık, Fenerbahçe Deputy Chairman Nihat Özdemir and Süreyya Ciliv, the CEO of Turkey’s leading GSM operator Turkcell, to discuss further cooperation in the fields of economy and commerce.
“We feel at home in Turkey,” the Rwandan president said. President Kagame is also scheduled to tour manufacturing companies in İstanbul.
On Friday, Kagame will receive an honorary doctorate from Fatih University in recognition of his leadership in Rwanda as well as his contributions within the international community.
Turkey and Rwanda enjoy cordial relations and the country is represented in Rwanda through its embassy in Uganda. Rwanda has been represented in Turkey since 2009 by an honorary consul, and as of September 2011 has a full-fledged honorary consulate and an office of the Rwanda Development Board in İstanbul.