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Rwanda, Ghana sign MoU to deepen trade relations

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The government of Ghana has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rwanda to deepen bilateral trade relations between the two countries.

This is on the back of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement which is expected to boost intra-Africa trade.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Alan Kyerematen, signed on behalf of Ghana, while the Minister of Trade and Industry for Rwanda, Ms. Beata Habyarimana, initialed on behalf of her country.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Kyeramaten said he was confident that the MoU would blossom in the very near future into a strong, mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.

He said the MoU was aimed at strengthening and developing trade ties between the two countries, as well as expand and diversify commercial exchanges among the private sector operators.

Good fraternal relations

He noted that the two countries had enjoyed very good fraternal relations for several decades, stating that “Ghana was one of the few countries that contributed troops to Rwanda during the very difficult period in the history of Rwanda, as part of peacekeeping initiatives by the United Nations”.

In addition, he said both countries had played significant roles in shaping the agenda of the African Union over the years, and had held common positions in various multilateral fora.

“The history of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) cannot be written without giving credit to the people and governments of Ghana and Rwanda for the significant roles we played in the establishment of the single continental market for Africa.

“You would recall that the formal decision to establish the AfCFTA was taken at the AU Summit of Heads of State and government held in Accra in July 2012. In the same vein, you will recall that it was at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU Assembly of Heads of State held in Kigali in March 2018 that the AfCFTA Agreement was signed,” he pointed out.

Low level of trade

Mr. Kyerematen said despite the long-standing fraternal relations between the two countries, the level of trade was very low, with the same phenomenon applying in the area of investments.

He said it was against this background that the MoU was being signed to develop new strategies and implement measures that would significantly enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

“Ghana already has a Bilateral Air Service Agreement with Rwanda signed in 2018, which permits airlines from our two countries to operate commercial flights between Ghana and Rwanda to boost transport connectivity.

“We envisage that through this MoU, Ghana can become an entry point for Rwandan investments within the West Africa sub-region while Rwanda, on the other hand, can become a strategic entry point for Ghana into the Central and Eastern African Markets,” he stated.

Two countries will thrive

For her part, Ms. Beata Habyarimana, said the signing of the MoU would help the two countries to thrive in the area of trade and investments.

She said the private sector in Rwanda was also ready to partner the government towards achieving the aims of the MoU.

“This will be a blueprint for our continuous economic cooperation within the framework of the AfCFTA agreement,” she stated.

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