For the last couple of months, Rwandan ministers and other government officials have been holding regular talks with their counterparts from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
And, this week, President Kagame travelled to DRC’s capital, Kinshasa where he joined other regional and world leaders to celebrate the country’s 50th Independence anniversary with the Congolese people.
Rwanda’s relationship with Congo was once strained but concerted efforts from both countries to restore relations have been remarkably successful. They have formed joint operations to root out FDLR/Interahamwe militia, living in the DRC who not only posed a threat to Rwanda’s security but also to the Congolese people.
As the two countries enjoy good relations, their people should take advantage and boost cross border trade.
Rwanda is part of the East African Community, which recently kicked off the common market. Through the opening of the borders, the markets have expanded for member countries. However, this should stop Rwandans from exploring new markets.
Rubavu district, which borders DRC from the Western part of Rwanda is home to various Rwandan financial institutions which have facilitated the cross border trade. Rusizi, which borders DRC through Bukavu, is known for its massive agricultural production, especially rice.
With cordial relations between our two countries, the farmers should explore the wider markets. The advantages of good relations are numerous. At the moment, they are opportunities waiting to be exploited.