Rwanda and CAR have been for long enjoying cordial relations whereby Rwanda is helping the country engulfed by wars to restore peace. Rwandan troops have been deployed to CAR peacekeeping mission since 2014. On 20th December 2020, Rwanda deployed more special forces to CAR under existing bilateral cooperation signed in 2019.
The CEO of RwandAir, Yvonne Makolo has told IGIHE that dates for the scheduled flights remain unknown because preparations are ongoing.
RwandAir will reach CAR through Douala in Cameroon.
“We are undergoing preparations that we plan to start flights next month if everything goes well. We have not yet identified the starting date because we are still trying to get all permits,” she said.
Previously, it was a complicated process to fly to Bangui. For instance, a passenger departing from Kigali with RwandAir would land to Kampala, Uganda for at least 30 minutes before resuming the flight to Kenya. Upon arrival in Kenya, a passenger would depart with Kenya Airways to reach M’poko airport in Bangui.
One of people living in CAR has told IGIHE that anticipated flights will facilitate movements to other countries.
IGIHE has learnt that RwandAir will operate the first flight to Bangui in the first week of February 2021 even though the carrier didn’t reveal it.
CAR covers a land area of about 620,000 square kilometres and has an estimated population of around 4.7 million. As of 2020, the country is the scene of a civil war, ongoing since 2012.
The Central African Republic’s economy is based primarily on subsistence agriculture, with important mining and timber industries the main source of export earnings. Diamonds are the country’s most profitable export, while agriculture occupies most of its working population.
Farmers grow cotton, coffee, and tobacco for export and crops for local markets, but economic development is handicapped by the CAR’s landlocked position, limited infrastructure, and the low education of its work-force. Poor government management and political instability have further weakened the CAR’s economic condition. The informal sector is important in the CAR, accounting for most economic activity and a large share of the diamond trade.
CAR has had a turbulent economic history. Since gaining independence in 1960, the economy has endured intermittent periods of economic decline caused in part by poor management.
The opening of flights might present a huge market opportunity for businesspersons as the country heavily depends on imports.