Rwanda and Tanzania are taking their renewed relations to a new level. The two countries have announced a joint business summit to be held on May 6th at Kigali Serena hotel.
According to the organizer Mustafa Hasanali, the business forum is set to strengthen trade between the two countries and generally boost intra regional trade called for by the East African community.
The summit is organized by the Private sector federation (PSF) of Rwanda in conjunction with the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TACCIA).
Organisers say the business summit is expected to attract approximately 300 participants from the two economies.
“The summit is a great opportunity for the business community especially in regards to infrastructure and logistics as it will help create a blueprint for improved trade ties between the two neighbours,” said Dennis Karera the chairman of the East Africa business council.
Landlocked with a population of 11million, Rwanda imports and exports most of its products by road through its neighbours including Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and DRCongo.
Rwanda’s real GDP growth is projected to grow at the rate of 7.5% in 2016-17 mostly driven by foreign and public investment, services and exports.
Last year Rwanda recorded $127.8 million worth of exports to East Africa Community compared to $142.4 million in 2014. Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam port is very vital in handling most of Rwanda’s imports and exports.
Rwanda is aggressively seeking to cut down on its trade deficit by increasing exports. Exports in Rwanda decreased to 41.56 USD Million in November from 46.21 USD Million in October of 2015.
The country with about 70% of population engaged in farming, imports mainly food products, machinery and equipment, construction materials, petroleum products and fertilizers.
According to World Economic Forum on Africa, Rwanda’s rapid evolution needs to further reforms and alliances to accelerate development by expanding socio-economic opportunities.
At the beginning of April Tanzania’s president John Pombe Magufuli and Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame jointly commissioned a (Tsh61 billion) multi-million dollar Rusumo One-Stop Border Post service.
For Magufuli, East African region is a blessed land with unlimited resources, and that only cooperation can push the region to prosperity.
Tanzania’s economy with 47.7 million population has been growing at annual GDP growth rate of 7% driven largely by communications, transport, financial intermediation, construction, agriculture and manufacturing.
According to the Economic Report on Africa 2016, East Africa is projected to lead other African regions in growth, rising 6.8% in 2016 and 6.6% in 2017, backed by robust growth in countries such as Rwanda and Tanzania.