Both countries have built friendship in major areas of trade, education and health.
The year 2019 started with a new impression in Rwanda-Egypt relations.
It is the year in which President Paul Kagame who chaired the African Union in 2018 handed over to his counterpart of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
Later on, top Government officials have been meeting to build vivid relationships built on mutual trust.
At the beginning of June 2019, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Richard Sezibera visited Cairo at the invitation of Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss Rwanda-Egypt strong partnership and explore new areas of cooperation.
The discussions were also attended by Rwanda’s ambassador to Egypt, Sheikh Habimana Saleh.
Both leaders held discussions revolving around promoting investment and opening gates to each other.
Minister Sezibera and Sameh Shoukry agreed on meeting at the end of this year to assess the progress of maximizing advantages from investment opportunities.
“They agreed on meeting in Kigali to sign joint-agreements based on freedom of investment in both countries and seeking solutions to problems raised by investors,” said Amb Sheikh Habimana Saleh.
Amb. Habimana has told IGIHE that the visit has started bearing fruits.
Following the visit of Minister Sezibera, investors from both countries have started exchanging visits to identify areas of priority to be leveraged on for investment.
On support of Rwanda’s embassy in Egypt, Rwanda’s investors in transport sector visited Egypt on 20th June 2019.
They met with African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) which requested them to create a platform in order to benefit from funds to overhaul transport in Rwanda.
The meeting was attended by representatives from Association des Transporteurs des Personnes au Rwanda (ATPR); Jali Holdings Company and Rwanda Inter-Link Transport Company (RITCO).
The Managing Director of ATPR, Théoneste Mwunguzi has told IGIHE that they expect to reap big from the study trip held in Egypt.
“We held discussions with Afreximbank. They told us that we can get funding to take further the progress of public transport sector through a joint platform,” he said.
The platform will establish an association with one spokesperson who will work closely with the advisor in Rwanda’s embassy to Egypt, Eric Kayoge and an employee of Afreximbank to prepare a well-polished project allowing them to obtain funding.
Mwunguzi and his colleagues shared with Afreximbank on the current progress of Rwanda’s digitalization efforts in transport in tickets sales, use of Tap and Go cards and introduction of free Wi-Fi in public buses.
Afreximbank wants the transport sector connecting African countries and facilitate free movement of trade and people.
“We realized that they trust us more than we think. They want to give us huge funds based on outcomes of our discussions. We need like Rwf 50 billion. We want to invest in cross border transport. If we get the funding, part of it would be used to buy buses among other advanced equipment,’’ said Mwunguzi.
Egypt investors started exploring investment opportunities in Rwanda
Egypt embassy in Rwanda, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) recently convened the management of 16 firms from Egypt and private investors from Rwanda in an event aimed at identifying areas of cooperation for investment.
The event was held in Kigali city on 21st June 2019. It is expected that investors from both sides can cooperate to transfer goods to each other and maximize benefits from agricultural produce among others.
Natacha Kaneza, head of membership coordination at PSF explained that the gesture was meant to strengthen cooperation in joint-trade.
“The event brought together investors from Egypt firms and Rwandan counterparts. It sought to help them identify what items manufactured from their plants are needed in Rwanda. They also stand chance to build plants in Rwanda,” she said.
The representative of investors from Egypt, Dina Helal said they target facilitation of trade between both countries.
“We want to put in much effort so that we can establish plants here in the years ahead to supply to other countries products manufactured in Rwanda. We are still assessing it and seeking partners here. We hope everything will be right,” he said.
Egypt ambassador in Rwanda, Ahmed Samy Mohamed El-Ansar said that building national economy is the priority following Minister Sezibera visit to Egypt.
“This is part of cooperation that should characterize joint-trade efforts. Both countries will cooperate in different areas as members of African Union and COMESA among others. We are aware that Rwanda facilitates investors. It is possible that Egyptians firms can be built here. We held discussions with people who are analyzing it,” he explained.
World Bank Report in October 2018 ranked Rwanda 29th among 190 world countries and the 2nd in Africa after Mauritius for easing businesses.