Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Zambia Monique Mukaruliza has called on the Rwandan business community to pick interest in the trade opportunities that Zambia provides.
The envoy who also has Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique under her docket, said that Rwanda enjoys excellent relations with Zambia that should translate into increased trade and tourism opportunities.
Mukaruliza made the remarks in an interview with The New Times at her office in Lusaka, Zambia last week.
“Opportunities here are many and in different sectors. Zambia engages in large scale agricultural production of crops like maize, soya, and making of sugar. There is an opportunity we can get raw materials from here take them to our industries and export finished products to Zambia,” she said.
Mukaruliza said that her office is now working on how tourists that visit Zambia’s tourism attractions can easily get information on how to access Rwanda’s tourism industry.
“This would be easy for tourists visiting Zambia to add Rwanda on their list since we have direct RwandAir flights from Lusaka to Kigali,” she added.
The tourism industry is a major and growing industry in Zambia only hindered by lack of a national airline. The situation comes with tourists having to use different connection flights to reach Zambia.
“We usually get sugar from there. But we are now looking at doing business in Zambia at a more professional and formal level. It has been more of informal,” Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) chair said.
Rwanda and Zambia this year signed a bilateral air service agreement opening the airspace of both countries.
Meanwhile, Mukaruliza was hopeful that another agreement, the extradition treaty signed between both countries would be implemented.
“Documents about extradition of Genocide suspects have already been sent here. We hope that such suspects will face justice either here or back home. It’s better for them to face justice on the ground where they committed the crimes,” she said.
Zambia is home to a sizeable number of suspected Genocide fugitives. 6,000 Rwandans live in Zambia. This number includes Rwandans doing business there and expatriates that work for regional organisations like Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).