Mushikiwabo emphases business diplomacy

KIGALI - Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo has called upon Rwanda diplomats to put more effort in marketing the country as a potential business destination in addition to the traditional diplomatic roles. Speaking at the opening of the annual Ambassadors’ retreat at the ministry headquarters yesterday, Rwanda’s top diplomat said that the country is opening a new chapter in its diplomacy.

KIGALI - Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo has called upon Rwanda diplomats to put more effort in marketing the country as a potential business destination in addition to the traditional diplomatic roles.

Speaking at the opening of the annual Ambassadors’ retreat at the ministry headquarters yesterday, Rwanda’s top diplomat said that the country is opening a new chapter in its diplomacy.

“Our diplomacy is moving very rapidly from the traditional good relations approach, political approach to a much more business oriented diplomacy,” Mushikiwabo said.

She cited the example of the rejuvenated diplomatic relations with the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“Even as we pursue more security and peace in the region, we (Rwanda and DRC) have embarked on purely economic activities of common interest.”

“And we are confident that these projects are going to bring about the kind of standard of living and understanding that the peoples of the two countries need,” she noted.

On the reinstated relations between Rwanda and France, Mushikiwabo noted that though it came as a surprise to some people, the process of normalizing ties between the two countries was on-going for some time.

Mushikiwabo told the diplomats that it has been noticed, from some French media, that Sarkozy is taking some heat and criticism for deciding to come to Rwanda.

“There is a level of disappointment by some cycles in France who have never thought it was worth trying to mend fences with Rwanda. I think there is a sense of commitment from him as he is taking domestic heat for coming to this country.”

Mushikiwabo said that Sarkozy’s visit is important and is going to signal “what we do from here – normalization is only beginning.”

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