Angola’s government has reaffirmed its commitment to deepen its bilateral ties with Rwanda following last week’s BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame met with President João Lourenço of Angola on the sidelines of the tenth annual edition of the event, which is an international relations conference attended by the heads of state or heads of government of the five member states Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
The commitment comes just two months after the governments of Rwanda and Angola signed a deal known as the ‘Bilateral Air Service Agreement’ under which Rwanda’s national flyer, RwandAir, and Angola’s national airline Taag got seven flight frequencies a week on either side.
The agreement was signed between the State Minister in charge of Transport, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, and Angola’s Minister of Transport, Augusto da Silva Tomas in Kigali on May 23rd, 2018.
As Anglola seeks opportunities in Rwanda’s thriving trade and aviation sectors, the BRICS nations have resolved to strengthen their multilateral trading systems. The group has urged member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to abide by rules, amid ongoing trade disputes between major economies.
At the Summit, India, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa also re-affirmed the centrality of an agreement known as the ‘rules-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system’.
“We recognize that the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges,” the BRICS member states said in a joint statement on July 26th, 2018.
“We underscore the importance of an open world economy, enabling all countries and peoples to share the benefits of globalisation, which should be inclusive and support sustainable development and prosperity of all countries,” the group added.
Angola has been keen to invest in Rwanda for quite some time, given theEast African country’s growing profile as a lucrative investment destination.
In 2015, Rwanda was ranked Africa’s most efficient government in an analysis dubbed the Global Competitive Report.
Rwanda was also ranked Africa’s third most popular destination for conferences in 2018 by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), a global meetings industry network.
Angola’s renewed interest comes even as Asian countries have been quick to capitalize on Rwanda’s rising potential.
In late July, Chinese President, Xi Jinping and India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi travelled to Rwanda to boost multilateral ties with the small land-locked nation. President Xi has since signed 15 bilateral agreements with Rwanda, offering concessional loans to the country. Under the agreements, China will fund projects in road construction, hospital renovation and development of the Bugesera International Airport.
Angola’s Head of State, Lourenço has already met with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Moushikiwabo to discuss strengthening cooperation and the opening of Embassies in the two countries.
“We want to collaborate on key sectors, including industrialization, infrastructure, as well as peace and security, which are at the heart of the African Union’s Agenda 2063,” President Kagame told the BRICS Summit.
“Working together, we will continue to be a principal source of economic dynamism, in the years to come,” he said.