Cablegate: Powell/Mccormick Delegation Meets President


DE RUEHLGB #0295/01 0811423
P 221423Z MAR 07




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. On Tuesday, March 6, Deputy National Security Advisor
for International Economic Affairs, David McCormick and
Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs,
Dina Habib Powell met President Kagame. The duo was
accompanied by members of their traveling party and
Ambassador Arietti.

2. McCormick began by expressing President Bush's continued
commitment to achieving a successful conclusion of the
WTO's Doha Round. McCormick also expressed his gratitude
for the positive role Rwanda has played in the negotiations
and thanked President Kagame for his leadership on the
issue. President Kagame responded by noting that Rwanda
has tried to play a constructive role at the WTO in
bringing parties to a consensus; in the process, he said,
Rwanda has sometimes come under fire from all quarters.

3. McCormick then noted that the USG continues to believe
that the establishment of a Bilateral Investment Treaty
would be helpful in attracting further private investment
to Rwanda and that the USG is committed to working on that
with the GOR. The GOR's economic reform program, as
reflected in the country's positive marks in the World
Bank's "Doing Business in Africa," is, McCormick said, the
best way to promote economic development and should be

4. McCormick closed by noting that the German Government,
as host of this year's G-8 summit, has established two
primary topics for the meting: global economic growth and
ensuring that the underlying factors that drive economic
development are in place in African countries. McCormick
welcomed feedback from the GOR on how this issue can be
moved forward. President Kagame welcomed the G-8's move to
give more relevance to Africa and noted that there was much
work to be done on both sides to ensure that development
takes root in Africa. While African nations need to do
more to "deserve" the G-8's support, partners in the
developed world also need to pay more attention to the
particular need of Africa. Kagame noted that some people's
sense of injustice arising from underdevelopment can lead
to insecurity. This is an issue, he said, that can be
addressed through discussions such as those being proposed
for the G-8 Summit.

5. A/S Powell noted that it was encouraging to see first
hand the excellent leadership President Kagame is providing
Rwanda and commented that her delegation had a strong
interest in promoting public-private partnerships. She
then inquired what sectors could be targeted for such
partnerships to help Rwanda in its next phase of economic
recovery and development. President Kagame responded by
noting that the private sector is the key to Rwanda's
economic growth but that the private sector in the country
was starting from a very small base. Kagame then noted
that Rwanda is looking forward to broadening partnerships
with foreign investors in a range of sectors, including
tourism, energy, infrastructure, and agri-business. Kagame
added that Google is still exploring the possibility of
making Rwanda a regional hub, and that Alltel, Cisco, and
Sun Microsystems all have been involved to some degree in

6. President Kagame went on to highlight the success of
USAID's work in the specialty coffee sector as a clear
example of how improving local knowledge and linking local
communities to the outside world can improve lives. In one
or two years, he suggested, Rwanda should be able to export
all of its coffee washed, which would add greater value to
the product.

7. Ambassador Arietti noted the USG's continued commitment
to identifying further such areas of cooperation. For
instance, the Embassy would examine the possibility of
helping to develop Rwanda's pyrethrum processing capability
so that at least a portion of the compound used for
residual indoor spraying under the President's Malaria
Initiative could be sourced locally.

8. President Kagame closed by noting that human capacity
building is very critical and is a potential area for
greater collaboration.

9. While in Rwanda, McCormick also traveled to the Gako
Training Academy to review Rwanda's ACOTA program. At
Gako, McCormick received a briefing on training currently
being received by Rwandan troops slated for rotation to the
Darfur region of Sudan as part of the AU's mission.

10. Apart from the meeting with President Kagame, the focal
point of A/S Powell's first day in Rwanda was a visit to
the FAWE Girl's School, where she announced a new exchange

program that will permit approximately 20 Rwandan students
and five Rwandan teachers Q travel to the United States
for a period of three to four weeks to examine civic
education and leadership development programs for American
students. The Assistant Secretary also visited a USAID-
sponsored reconciliation and team-building project. The
entire delegation rounded out their day with a briefing by
religious leaders, who discussed faith-based reconciliation
initiatives, and a reception in honor of ECA exchange
program alumni and prominent members of the American
community in Rwanda.

11. Day two of the delegation's visit included a visit to
an orphans and vulnerable children program and neighboring
community center funded through PEPFAR, and a trip to the
Butare region to meet with coffee farmers who have
benefited from USAID's support for the specialty coffee

12. Media interest in the party's visit was high. The
Assistant Secretary's exchange program announcement was
front page news in Rwanda's only daily newspaper, and
Rwandan TV and radio covered every event on the
delegation's program.

13. This cable has been cleared by A/S Powell.


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