Rwanda- São Tomé and Príncipe Further Bilateral Relations

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Signing of agreements:Minister Louise Mushikiwabo’ s Official Visit to Sao Tome and Principe.

A delegation of Rwandan senior officials and technical experts led by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, have visited São Tomé and Príncipe to discuss a broad range of issues aimed at strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Rwandan officials and their Sao Tomean counterparts assessed the current economic and political atmosphere as well as ways to establish the diplomatic, legal and political framework for cooperation.

Each of the sectors represented in this mission met with Sao Tomean counterparts to discuss areas of cooperation, both immediate and long term.

The two sides observed that there is need for a joint cooperation, investment and tourism within the region as well as between the two countries. They concluded that this will be based on the establishment and functionality of Rwandair’s operations in São Tomé and Príncipe.

During the discussions, potential joint investment projects were identified such as the Agropol project in Sao Tome for Coffee production and processing (Mount Coffee with around five hundred hectares available). In the future, Rwanda can consider joint investment in Oil and Gas Expropriation.

On issues related to immigration and emigration, the areas proposed for cooperation include sharing of technical expertise on visa policies, border control management, coordination of travel document issuance and visa in Diaspora, use advanced IT Infrastructure such as electronic gates, capacity building (training), and exchange of information.

Rwanda Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, and her counterpart, Minister Urbino Botelho, concluded the meeting by signing two agreements: an agreement on political and diplomatic consultations and an agreement on expanded cooperation.

While addressing local Media, Minister Mushikiwabo said that the visit aims to create a platform of cooperation between the two countries as expressed by President Kagame and the Prime Minister of Sao Tome during his recent visit to Rwanda. That the two countries should start working together, share experience, and support one another.

She said: ‘’I am really here to implement the wish of the leaders of our two countries to start a solid platform of cooperation between our two countries in different sectors. It is a firm decision to bring our two countries closer together. Rwanda and Sao Tome share a vision of a developed country linked to its neighbours and to the world.’’

Rwandan delegation had also fruitful talks with Prime Minister, Patrick Emery Trovoada on defense matters. Prime Minister Trovoada gave a brief background to the current situation mainly highlighting the areas of much needed collaboration. The Prime Minister reiterated the fact, looking at the Rwandan past and present experience, the Army can surely contribute to socio-economic development of the nation.

It was agreed that a delegation from São Tomé and Príncipe would visit Rwanda to identify the specific required fields of collaboration before the end of the first trimester of 2017.

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