THE EXISTING bilateral relations between Rwanda and Morocco will grow faster thanks to the new Moroccan embassy in Kigali, officials have said.
Officials were speaking yesterday during the official hoisting of the Moroccan flag at the new embassy in Nyarutarama, Kigali.
The embassy started operations earlier this year in February but it had not officially been launched.
Speaking at the event, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, said the flag-raising was symbolic.
She stressed that the bilateral relations between the two countries were smooth and growing even before the embassy was opened.
Last October, Rwanda and the Kingdom of Morocco signed 19 agreements to facilitate creation of opportunities for citizens of the two nations.
The agreements followed official visits of heads of state from either country.
Last year, President Paul Kagame visited Morocco and this was followed by the reciprocal visit of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, four months later.
After the agreements, Moroccan companies visited Rwanda for the African Business Connect summit earlier this month and expressed their interest to invest in the energy sector, finance, transport and logistics, information and technology, construction and real estate, among other sectors.
“The flag-raising is just a symbolic thing, the bilateral cooperation between the two countries is strong and what we are doing is just a diplomatic gesture and a way of receiving you (embassy) in Rwanda,” said Mushikiwabo, after raising the flag along with Youssef Imani, the Moroccan Ambassador to Rwanda.
“Morocco is in North but now that it is here the message is that ‘‘The flag presents the desire for better collaboration, for us the doors are open whenever need be,” she added.
Amb. Imani said the hoisting of the flag in Kigali means the embassy is officially operational, and is expected to ease bilateral cooperation as well as facilitate investments in either country.
“Before this embassy was opened, whoever wanted Morocco visa services had to go to Nairobi (Kenya), so the problem was time and distance but now we have a physical presence and visa services and others will be offered from here,” he said.
He said there are huge opportunities that investors from either side can benefit from.
Benjamin Gasamagera, chairperson of Private Sector Federation, said Rwandan investors will now find it easy to get travel documents to go to Morocco.
“The official opening of the Moroccan embassy will ease the process of getting travel documents, this is as if Morocco was brought closer,” he said
He added that following the Moroccan business executives visit, the Private Sector Federation is organising a visit to Morocco to learn from their experience in areas where they have advanced skills, such as in tourism, agriculture, and leather industry.
“Moroccans will feel free to invest more in Rwanda because they have an embassy, they will feel represented, Rwandans will also feel free to do business in Morocco,” he added.