President Paul Kagame arrived in Belgium on Monday, where he will attend the 12th edition of the European Development Days (EDD), which runs from 5-6 June 2018.
Organised by the European Commission, the European Development Days bring the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
On the sidelines of the gathering, however, President Kagame will meet and hold talks with top EU officials as well as meeting King Philippe of Belgium before holding bilateral talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, according to a communiqué from the President’s office.
The President will also hold meetings with EU leaders including Donald Tusk, President of the European Council; Neven Mimica, EU commissioner for international cooperation and development; Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security.
Kagame will also hold talks with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU Commission; and Antonio Tajani, Speaker of the European Parliament.
This year’s edition of the European Development Days is themed: ‘Women and Girls at the Forefront of Sustainable Development: protect, empower, and invest’, and will focus on the vital role of women and need for their full and equal participation and leadership in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Kagame is globally known as a champion of women empowerment. In most of his lectures, the President has always reminded the world about the vital role of involving women in every aspect of leadership.
At some point, the President stated that: “Any place that does not make gender equality a priority, is probably getting other important things wrong too.”
Meanwhile, the President will tomorrow, 5th June, speak at the opening ceremony alongside leaders and Heads of State including Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain, President Marie Louise Colero Preca of Malta, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso; President George Manneh Weah of Liberia, Prime Minister Solberg of Norway, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and Speaker of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.
President Kagame attended last year’s European Development Days.