Zim, Rwanda relations to improve Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, and his Rwandan counterpart Dr Vincent Biruta (right) cut the ribbon at the official opening of the Rwandan Embassy in Avondale, Harare yesterday, while Rwandan envoy to Zimbabwe Ambassador James Musoni assists. — Picture: Kudakwashe Hunda

Zvamaida Murwira

Senior Reporter

IMPLEMENTATION of the Zimbabwe and Rwanda Trade and Investment framework should boost trade between the two countries that is currently low despite good bilateral relations the two countries enjoy.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava said there was a need to take advantage of the good bilateral relationship between the two countries to enhance trade.

He said this last night during an event to officially inaugurate the Rwandan Embassy offices that were unveiled in Harare yesterday. 

The event was attended by visiting Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Dr Vincent Biruta.

“Allow me to note that bilateral relations between our two countries remain very low. The framework of the Zimbabwe Rwanda Trade and Investment Conference which we have started implementing should therefore spur us to greater heights in this field of economic endeavour. I am confident that coupled with opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area, our economic and trade relations will be greatly improved,” said Ambassador Shava.

He said the bilateral relations have seen the establishment of an inaugral Joint Permanent Commission on Co-operation which is a strategic framework for co-ordinating bilateral relations.

“In this regard, I am happy to note that Rwanda hosted the first Session of the JPCC in March 2021 where six agreements and Memorandum of Understanding were signed, elevating our relations to a higher level of co-operation. I wish to assure you that Zimbabwe will make every effort to ensure we hold yet another successful session of our JPCC in 2023.”

Dr Biruta said Zimbabwe and Rwanda shared a common history of fighting injustice and inequality.

“It therefore comes as no surprise that we share a determination to stand up not only for ourselves but for our African brothers and sisters as we strive to attain the prosperity and dignity that our people rightly deserve,” he said.

“As much as we have come a long way, our work is not yet done. Working together as Africans we must remain steadfast in promoting and building good politics based on solidarity and stability. The solutions to our biggest challenges are right here in Africa.”

Dr Biruta said relations between the two countries were set to be deepened under the stewardship of their Heads of State and Government.

“I wish to reiterate the commitment of the Government of Rwanda to reinforce our friendly relations for a common purpose and mutual benefit,” he said.

Last Friday, Zimbabwe and Rwanda signed three more collaborative frameworks increasing the areas of partnership to 22 as the countries continue excellent working interchanges in many areas. 

The growing co-operation between the two nations is built on President Mnangagwa’s vision of advancing economic interchange to improve people’s livelihoods and that is anchored on attaining an upper middle-income society by 2030. 

President Mnangagwa witnessed the signing of the agreements at State House.

Zimbabwe was represented by Minister Shava and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe while Minister Biruta represented his country.

Pacts signed include the extradition treaty, a memorandum of understanding on

immigration co-operation and another memorandum on co-operation when investigating civil

aircraft accidents and serious incidents.

The event was also attended by Rwanda’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe James Musoni, diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe and senior Government officials.

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