The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, yesterday held talks with his counterpart from Niger, Gilles Baillet, on how the two countries can kick start a mutually beneficial relationship, particularly in the area of economic cooperation.
Baillet arrived in Kigali on Tuesday for a five-day study tour, which was birthed from last year’s Arab-African Economic Forum in Kuwait, where President Paul Kagame held private discussions with the Nigerien president, Mahamadou Issoufou, according to Gatete.
“This is a very good beginning. Niger is a very friendly country and the bilateral ties we are starting now will benefit us for a long time. Our cooperation will commence through both ministries of finance, but in the future, other ministries and the private sector will be involved,” Gatete said.
“By the end of this trip, Minister Baillet and his delegation will know what we have to offer and areas where we can learn from each other. We will also pay back by visiting Niger, so that we can learn the same”.
Baillet said that although the bilateral ties are still in their initial stages, he had picked up a number of lessons from Rwanda, including public financial management and accountability, which he would share with his government.
“The government of Rwanda has achieved a lot in terms of management of public resources and has also achieved quick progress considering the troubled past it went through. Our government is eager to offer and also receive important lessons that can improve our African nations,” Baillet said.
The Nigerien delegation toured other public institutions including Rwanda Revenue Authority and Rwanda Governance Board, among others.
The West African country faces a couple of similar challenges to Rwanda, including being landlocked and relying heavily on foreign aid.