Rwanda, DR Congo business leaders in talks

Members of the Private Sector Federation travelled to DRC on Wednesday for the launch of RwandAir’s maiden flight to Kishansa. /James Karuhanga

Members of Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF) on Thursday held a meeting with their DR Congo counterparts in Kinshasa and agreed to, among others, fast track an agreement between the two sides.

The PSF delegation of more than 40 met their counterparts at the Federation des Enterprises du Congo (FEC) offices in Kinshasa in the presence of Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Minister for Trade and Industry.

The Rwandan delegation traveled Wednesday for the launch of RwandAir’s maiden flight to Kishansa.

It was agreed that a team return to Kinshasa within the next two weeks to have the deal finalised. Stephen Ruzibiza, the PSF chief executive, noted that the agreement is a win-win for both sides.

The Congolese capital is home to nearly 18 million people.

The MoU, once finalised, will help Rwandans and Congolese ably exchange information, and help set up reciprocal mechanisms for easing business.

“It will also help Rwandans get better business to business (B2B) connections here with those in similar lines of business,” Ruzibiza said.

“Also important is that we want to establish here, in Kinshasa, a multi-service centre like the one we have in Brazzaville, where you can find all Rwandan products and services,” he added.

Didace Twagirayezu, the Rwandan who heads the Joint Exporters Group in Brazzaville, was at the meeting and is enthusiastic about developments.

He said: “RwandAir has opened up doors for us and we have to work smarter.  The MoU with FEC will have a big impact on our business operations in Kinshasa.”

Albert Yuma Mulimbi, the FEC president, told the visiting delegation that they are welcome to partner with his team and forge better working relations.

Mulimbi was particularly impressed by the fact that business people from nearly all sectors in both countries were represented at the meeting.

He said: “What we have noted is that on both sides, there are things we can do better, together. For example, we mentioned the exploration on methane gas on Lake Kivu, which is being done by the energy sector in Rwanda. The question is; why can’t people in Congo also chip in and do something to improve the energy supply in Goma?”

“We are looking to accelerate business between the two countries. And I am very confident that things will work out,” he added.

According to Patricia Veringa-Gieskes, CEO of a Congolese recruitment agency, Rwandans have lots of opportunities to tap into the market of Kinshasa.

She said she was looking forward to the signing of the agreement in the next two weeks.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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