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KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Skyline view of Kigali city, capital of Rwanda. A new visa regime introduced by theRwanda government will allow citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior application, Rwandan immigration authority announced on Thursday. XINHUA PHOTO -LYU TIANRAN

Rwanda travel regime to allow visitors to get visas upon arrival

Rwanda visa regime to allow all visitors to get visa upon arrival

KIGALI Rwanda(Xinhua) -- Rwanda’s new visa regime will allow citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior application, Rwandan immigration authority announced on Thursday.

The new measure that allows visitors to have a 30 days upon arrival visa will start Jan. 1, 2018, said the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration in an announcement.

Before the new measure being effective, only nationals of African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.

The new regime also allows all member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to get 90 days visa upon arrival, a change from current 30 days on arrival as other holders of African passports.

The announcement also said foreign residents in Rwanda will be allowed to use resident identity cards on entry, including using electronic gates with the automated passenger clearance system at Kigali International Airport.


Rwanda awards national orders to nine people across world for contribution

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Saturday awarded nine people the inaugural National Order of Outstanding Friendship, locally known as Igihango, for their contribution to Rwanda.

The recipients received the medals at a ceremony in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

Igihango is awarded to distinguished individuals who performed specific outstanding acts in promoting friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and other countries, as well as acts that promoted the dignity and honor of the Rwandan people and the country, on the international scene, according to Rwandan Minister of Culture Julienne Uwacu.

The recipients of the award include Israeli businessman Hezi Bezalel, American businessman and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Gilbert Chagoury, Canadian scientist John Dick, American anthropologist and physician Paul Farmer, Alain and Dafroza Gauthier who jointly have committed to bringing to justice those responsible for 1994’s Rwandan genocide, British investigative journalist Linda Melvern and Joseph Ritchie, American businessman and founding CEO of Rwanda Development Board.

Kagame said at the event that Igihango is one of Rwanda’s highest decoration of honour, adding that the recipients are most definitely an outstanding friend to Rwanda.

The purpose of awarding Igihango is to honour extraordinary contributions to Rwanda’s national life, which serves to inspire young people to conduct their lives with the highest principles and ambitions, according to the president.

In Rwandan tradition, Igihango was the most solemn bond, that could unite two people, or two families. It was a freely chosen pact, based on truth and mutual sacrifice, which was unbreakable and lifelong, he said.

The ceremony will be a regular occurrence, the president said.

Estonian president starts visit in Rwanda

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid Thursday arrived in the Rwandan capital Kigali for a two-day visit.

In the company of several of government officials, Kaljulaid was welcomed at Kigali International Airport by Rwandan officials.

Shortly after her arrival, Kaljulaid visited the Kigali genocide memorial site to pay respects to the victims of 1994 Rwandan genocide.

"On behalf of all Estonian people, I offer our condolences to the people of Rwanda, to the survivors and the families of the victims of the genocide against the Tutsi," she wrote in the condolence book.

"Unfortunately, our world is no better today, and unfortunately, while physical wounds may heal, the hearts remain broken."

She commended Rwandans for their effort to overcome the terrible period as one unified community.

While in Rwanda, she is expected to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, visit Rwanda’s ministry of agriculture and ICT incubation hub called k-lab in Kigali.


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