Rwanda, Morocco agree to expedite bilateral agreements

State Minister for EAC Olivier Nduhungirehe and Mohcine Jazouli, the Moroccan Minister Delegate for African Cooperation in Rabat on Tuesday.

Morocco and Rwandan have agreed to establish a committee that will follow up on the implementation of the 30 bilateral cooperation agreements that the two countries have so far signed, an official statement indicates.

The decision was reached on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, in Rabat, the capital of Morocco.

This monitoring committee will help accelerate the implementation of such agreements, as well as explore new avenues for growth of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, said Mohcine Jazouli, the Moroccan Minister Delegate for African Cooperation.

Jazouli was speaking after talks with Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister for East African Community who is on an official visit to the North African country.

He recalled that the two countries signed thirty agreements, including 23 in the presence of the two heads of state on the occasion of Moroccan King Mohammed VI's visit to Rwanda in October 2016.

These agreements cover several sectors including agro-industry, pharmaceutical industry and the financial sector.

On his part, Nduhungirehe affirmed that the committee which will be formed will make it possible to closely keep an eye on the content of the agreements signed between Morocco and Rwanda.

He also said that in addition to bilateral cooperation, the two countries have decided “to strengthen their multilateral cooperation in the framework of the African Union and the United Nations”.

"Morocco is a great country with a good network of friendship on the continent and outside the continent," he said, adding that the two countries are determined to work together to achieve consensus on the key issues at the continental level and elsewhere,” Nduhungirehe said.

The officials appreciated the excellent relations between Morocco and Rwanda.

Jazouli also commended Rwanda's position on Morocco's sovereignty.

Nduhungirehe stated that Rwanda agrees with “Morocco on the stances that support the strengthening of the sovereignty of the States”.

"Rwanda is always ready to discuss with Morocco on key issues including those relating to peace and security in the region and on the African continent," he said.

Execution of the deals in progress

Meanwhile, some of the pacts made between the two countries have started bearing fruits.

In December 2017, the first phase of a factory to manufacture drugs in Rwanda which is expected to reduce up to 20 per cent of Rwanda’s about $100 million annual drug imports as estimated its developers.

Construction works are almost complete and according to officials, production is expected to begin in the second quarter of this year, as was confirmed by Dr. Danny Mutembe, the Country Representative of Cooper Pharma in an interview with a local publication.

The plant, which is set up in the Special Economic Zone, is intended to help meet local pharmaceutical needs and it is in line with the deals announced during a three-day state visit by a Moroccan delegation led by King Mohamed VI back in 2016.

It was estimated that the investment for the first phase was between $6 and $7 million, without including technology transfer.

In the framework of agro-industry, a $38 million (about Rwf33 billion) fertiliser blending plant with capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of fertilisers annually, which started being constructed in Bugesera District in 2019.

The fertiliser factory is a partnership between a Morocco’s OCP Group – one of the leading exporters of phosphate fertilisers in the world –, a Rwandan firm, Agro Processing Trust Corporation (APTC), as well as the Government of Rwanda.

The fertiliser blending will be based on the type of soil and the nutrient needs of each crop to be grown in a particular region.

This development, according to actors in the agriculture sector, will effectively respond to the issue of using similar fertiliser formulation for different types of soil and regions, which farmers said was adversely affecting farm productivity.

 Meanwhile, Nduhungirehe on Wednesday officially opened the Rwandan embassy in Rabat, a function that was also attended by Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Last year, Sheikh Saleh Habimana was appointed ambassador to Morocco. Before that, he had been envoy to Egypt.

entirenganya@newtimesrwanda.com

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