Rwanda, Qatar look to stronger economic ties

Rwanda, Qatar look to stronger economic ties

President Paul Kagame on Thursday began a two-day official visit to Qatar where he held bilateral talks on the first day with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.

One of the highlights of the meeting between the two Heads of State was the signing of bilateral agreements focused on accelerating economic cooperation between the two nations.

The agreements included the areas of air services, reciprocal promotion and protection of investments, and a memorandum of understanding on economic, commercial, and technical cooperation.

Qatar and Rwanda already share economic ties through civil aviation, with Qatar Airways, the Gulf State’s flag carrier, operating direct flights to Rwanda since 2012.

The agreements signed yesterday are poised to take the existing relations to another level.

President Kagame who is also the chairperson of the African Union (AU), was also hosted to an official luncheon with his accompanying delegation.

In the afternoon, the Head of State visited the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development where he toured the Qatar National Library among other facilities.

The visit is a follow up to Kagame’s meeting with the Emir in September this year on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

According to Claver Gatete, the Minister for Infrastructure, who accompanied President Kagame, the Thursday meeting focused on opportunities for investments in Rwanda.

He indicated that the visit comes a few days after Qatar investors’ trip to Rwanda during which they explored new avenues of collaboration.

“Two weeks ago, there was a visit by investors from Qatar looking at many options of investing in different areas, including tourism, agriculture especially agri-business, and also in the areas of mining,” he said.

Gatete said the signing of the bilateral treaty on investment will enable Qatari investors to do business in Rwanda.

The agreement on air services, he noted, will enable the national carrier RwandAir to operate commercial flights to Qatar, while the third agreement will focus on promoting cooperation on business and other technical aspects.

Qatar is represented in Rwanda through its mission in Dar es Salaam, while Rwanda is represented in the Gulf state through its mission in the United Arab Emirates.