The Governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of Rwanda on Thursday signed a mutual waiver agreement in which the two countries agreed to allow their citizens to travel to either country without a visa.
The signing follows the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and stems from an initiative of Foreign Minister Mark Brantley, the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Kevin M. Isaac and Rwanda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Yamina Karitanyi.
Strengthening international partnerships
In a statement, the government says the agreement fulfils a commitment to strengthen international partnerships and improve relations across the globe.
“This is also in keeping with the Foreign Minister’s belief that “Africa remains an untapped resource for south-south cooperation and that St. Kitts and Nevis is willing to be that bridge to narrow the divide.”
Once all the requisite internal procedures have been completed, the Agreement will enter into force ensuring that citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis and Rwanda who hold a valid diplomatic, official or ordinary passport can enter, exit and transit each other’s territories free of visa requirements for up to 90 days.
The High Commissioners of Rwanda and St. Kitts and Nevis also extended invitations to visit each other’s country.
Karitanyi stressed that the new Rwanda Air offers up to three flights a week from London to the Rwandan capital, Kigali and also expressed a willingness to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis.
Meanwhile, Isaac thanked his colleague for the invitation to visit Rwanda which he hopes to accept soon and promised to work with her to expedite her visit to St. Kitts and Nevis.
Rwanda is scheduled to host the next Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in 2020, is a landlocked country in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Although it endured a tragic history of genocide in 1994, Rwanda has been transformed in two decades, continues to modernize, and is now considered one of Africa’s safest and most stable countries with annual growth rates of between 6-8 per cent.