Rwanda, Egypt Move to Strengthen Trade Ties

Kagame and Sisi in a joint address on boosting bilateral trade ties

President Kagame and his Egyptian counterpart, Abd- al -Fattah al-Sisi, who is on a two- day state visit in Rwanda as part of his four-nation African tour, have agreed to deepen bilateral ties for mutual benefit.

Rwanda earns about $30million (Frw 22 billion) in exports to Egypt annually while Egypt earns a staggering $64millon (Frw 46 billion) from exports to Rwanda.

However, the tide is expected to change after a pledge by Egypt to open up more markets for made in Rwanda products.

President Kagame on Tuesday received his counterpart upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport, Kanombe, before the two held bilateral talks at Urugwiro Village.

President Kagame later hosted the Egyptian President to a State Dinner at the Kigali Convention Centre.

Speaking after holding bilateral talks, the two heads of state committed to bolster economic ties between their two countries for the mutual benefit of their respective citizens.

President Kagame said that Egypt has a lot to offer as a business partner.

“Egypt has a lot to offer as an investor and business partner for Rwanda and the East African region, we are eager to deepen commercial ties,” said Kagame.

“Egyptians do not need to apply for a visa to visit Rwanda and we hope to welcome tourists and business people from Egypt to our country in greater numbers going forward.”

President Kagame said the friendship between Rwanda and Egypt has been productive and Rwandans look forward to doing even more in the future.

On his part, President Sisi said that during the bilateral meeting, the two heads of state resolved to take all measures possible to facilitate and encourage the exchange of trade between the two countries and establish joint projects in the various economic sectors that would enable both nations to achieve their goals.

“We discussed ways to promote trade exchange, increase joint investments, and foster growing cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries especially in the areas of communication, tourism, agriculture and energy,” said Sisi.

“I want to highlight the agreement between the Egyptian and Rwandan government to take all necessary measures to facilitate and encourage the exchange of trade between the two countries and establish joint projects in the various economic sectors that will realize the interests of the brotherly nations.”

As a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Egypt exports enter the Rwandan Market freely and vice-versa.

The two heads of states also discussed the ongoing African Union reforms process where president Kagame pointed out that the North African nation was an important player in making the organization more effective and sustainable.

Earlier on, President Kagame received a delegation of top African executives currently undergoing a special programme offered by Harvard Business School in collaboration with the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and University of Lagos Business School in Nigeria under the Senior Executives Program-Africa (SEPA).

Participants sought to meet with President Kagame who gave them personal insights on Rwanda’s development path, leadership strategy among other things.

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