Rwanda, Djibouti Sign New Deals, Eye Deeper Economic Ties

Rwanda and Djibouti on Wednesday, May 10, signed three bilateral agreements as both countries mull strengthening ties.

The signing ceremony was presided over by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Vincent Biruta alongside Djibouti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahamoud Ali Youssouf.

Minister Youssouf and his delegation are in Rwanda for an official visit.

The three agreements include diplomatic training, agriculture and tourism.

The development follows five other agreements that were signed in 2017, during President Paul Kagame’s state visit to Djibouti.

“You will recall that during the 2017 state visit, several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding in various fields have been initiated and have been signed. However, most of the deals were not implemented partly due to Covid-19 challenges,” Biruta said at a press briefing.

According to Biruta, the agreements were in several key sectors including ICT, an agreement on reciprocal mutual exemption of visas on diplomatic and service passports, an MoU on bilateral air service agreements, agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investment.

“The joint Ministerial Commission will allow us to follow up on the implementation of the signed MoUs and also propose new areas of cooperation.”

Youssouf said that beyond the win-win scenario, Rwanda and Djibouti’s partnership also aimed at advocating for collaboration across the continent. For instance, Youssouf pointed at the current crisis in Sudan, saying that it was in everyone’s interest to ensure that peace is restored in the region.

Biruta said that cooperation between both countries was not limited to the aspects only covered by the three bilateral agreements. He noted that it would continue to grow as more areas are identified.

Djibouti offered Rwanda a 20-hectare piece of land at the port of Djibouti in 2013. Rwanda plans to develop and operate as a strategic base for its imports and exports on the plot. In reciprocity, Djibouti was also offered a plot in the Special Economic Zone in Kigali’s Gasabo District.

The two countries have started talks on how to develop their plots of land, Biruta said.

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