Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s historic visit to Rwanda this week has been significant in many ways. Not only has he become the first monarch of Morocco to visit Rwanda but his state visit saw the signing of a whopping 23 bilateral agreements between the two countries covering a wide-range of critical issues.
As the visiting King and his host presided over the signing of the pacts in Kigali, with officials from both sides taking turns to ink deal after deal, you could sense a renewed commitment to revitalise cooperation between developing countries, mostly referred to as South-South Cooperation.
From agriculture, housing, skills development and ICT, to health, tourism, green growth and facilitation of businesses, the two countries agreed to share resources, experience and skills for mutual benefit with view to deepening ties in as many areas as possible to fast-track sustainable development.
King Mohammed VI’s visit was an act of reciprocation with President Kagame having paid a state visit to the North African nation in June during which both sides agreed to explore ways to take bilateral ties to the next level.
Four months later, those discussions have started to bear fruit with the two countries signing a raft of bilateral agreements that have potential to impact both parties in significant ways.
The deals epitomise the meaning and essence of South-South Cooperation. They serve as a demonstration that, with political will, African nations can forge strategic partnerships and, together, create opportunities that can go a long way in transforming their people’s lives in unprecedented ways.
This is the spirit with which African leaders should approach such issues as regional integration and intra-African trade. Africa needs to do business with itself. Developing nations need to trade and cooperate with each other for mutual benefit.
The challenges that face the world today demand that nations break down barriers that traditionally forced them to work in isolation, start to think and act outside the box, and embrace mutual cooperation and collaboration.
The end result is a win-win for all involved.
As for the newly signed Rwanda-Morocco bilateral deals, the two principals have spoken and its loud and clear, they have set the tone, it’s now up to the respective technocrats and officials to get down to work to deliver on the pacts.