Rwanda, EU mull new avenues of cooperation

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Richard Sezibera chats with EU Ambassador to Rwanda Nicola Bellomo during the meeting in Kigali yesterday. Emmanuel Kwizera.

Government officials and representatives of the European Union member countries yesterday met to review current terms of cooperation as well as ways to further boost relations.

At a meeting held in Kigali, the Rwandan officials were led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Richard Sezibera.

The delegation included officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Governance Board, as well as representatives from trade and security sectors.

EU countries Ambassadors and Rwandese officials follow the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 at MINAFFET, Kigali. Emmanuel Kwizera

At the meeting, the two parties discussed the business climate in Rwanda and EU, EU-Africa Alliance for Sustainable Investment and jobs among other initiatives.

Regional issues also made it to the agenda of the meeting, including the East African Community as well as peace and security in the region.

The meeting also looked at the progress of the implementation of Cotonou Agreement, a treaty between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) signed in June 2000 in Cotonou, Benin.

The Cotonou Agreement is aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr Sezibera said that the Government has all intentions to continue working closely with the European Union over the years for mutual benefit. He noted that, so far, a lot had been achieved from the cooperation through various forums.

He noted that, going forward, there were all indicators that the partnership would be sustained and would continue to be of relevant impact going forward.

On his part, European Union Ambassador to Rwanda Nicola Bellomo said that they observed development in the country in multiple aspects, including justice, investment, and fight against corruption.

He noted that, in coming years, they were keen to continue cooperation in multiple areas, including strengthening the government relations, human capital, political cooperation, and trade.

Countries represented at the meeting include Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Ireland, France and the UK.