By Jean-Pierre Afadhali
On Tuesday, the Republic of Rwanda and the Kingdom of Morocco held their first Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) in Rabat, in which Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Richard Sezibera and his Moroccan counterpart, Mr. Nasser Bourita, signed 12 new agreements.
The cooperation deals were concluded in the areas of trade, environment, mining, geology and hydrocarbons, judicial cooperation and human capital development, bringing the total number of agreements between the two nations to thirty-six (36).
According to Rwandan government, during a joint briefing on the sidelines of the meeting, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita said that ” relations between the two countries have been a turning point after the visits to Rwanda and Morocco by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI in October 2016, and President Paul Kagame in June 2016”.
Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr Richard Sezibera expressed his satisfaction with the new dynamic in bilateral relations between the two countries, reinforced by “the strategic vision and commitment” of His Majesty the King and the Rwandan President, to build a strong, dignified and confident Africa.
According to the news released published on Rwanda’s foreign affairs ministry, Minister Sezibera commended the dynamism demonstrated by the Moroccan government and reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to strengthening existing relations.
“Moroccan partners have demonstrated their dynamism and Rwanda is very much looking forward to the completion of ongoing projects and the launch of new ones. Allow me to once again reiterate our commitment to the brotherly relations for the best of our nations, our people and our continent,” Minister Sezibera said.
Since the visit of H.M. King Mohamed VI, in October 2016 in Kigali, 24 agreements have been signed, with commitments worth US$ 160 million from Moroccan investors in agri-business, health, industry, energy and construction among others, Minister Sezibera noted.
Rwanda says, most of these projects are at advanced stage, including the construction of a pharmaceutical factory in Rwanda by Cooper Pharma, which is 85 percent completed.
Several mutual exchange visits by Moroccan and Rwandan agriculture experts have also been conducted, culminating in the training of Rwandan technical staff in the fields of irrigation, fertilizer testing and soil mapping, read part of news release.
Morocco is providing technical assistance to establish the Caravan approach in Rwanda, while also offering technical assistance to the design of an Agriculture Insurance Scheme. As well, plans for the set-up of a fertilizer blending facility by OCP Africa (Moroccan Chemical Group) are advanced, and construction of the facility is set to begin next month.