The Rwandan High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, has said a lot of business opportunities exist for both Ghana and Rwanda to explore for their mutual benefit, especially in the areas of agribusiness, education and tourism.
She said the three sectors presented opportunities for the two countries to boost trade and deepen their bilateral relationship.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with some selected journalists in Accra on Wednesday, Dr Kacyira said increased trade would help create jobs to address the rising unemployment challenge facing the two countries.
“Ghana and Rwanda share common development agenda and aspirations and we have to explore them to promote trade between the two countries,” she said.
Dr Kacyira, for example, said while Ghana was a leading producer of cocoa, Rwanda was a leader in the production of tea, saying Ghana and Rwanda could partner to add value to those commodities.
However, she said it was regrettable that Africans could not add value to their raw materials but exported them in their raw state.
Dr Kacyira said even though cocoa was produced in Ghana, it was not processed here, saying Rwandans enjoyed chocolate produced in Switzerland, and likewise Ghanaians consumed tea produced from the United Kingdom, even though the tea was grown in Rwanda.
The High Commissioner said she would work hard as representative of the Rwandan government in Ghana to promote the trade between the two countries.
“The establishment of a Rwandan High Commission in Ghana demonstrates our commitment to promote trade between the two countries,” she said.
On education, Dr Kacyira said Ghana had a good education system and about 50 percent of Rwandans in Ghana were here because of education and so there was the need to promote exchange programmes between the two countries.
Also on tourism, the High Commissioner said both countries had nice tourism resources such as natural parks, forests, and the sea and water fronts, which the private sector players could explore to diversify their investment portfolios.
She said the Rwandan High Commission was in discussion with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to explore ways and develop modalities for promoting trade between the two countries.
On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the High Commissioner said Rwanda supported the initiative.
Dr Kacyira indicated that the implementation of the AfCFTA, which would start in January next year, would help to promote intra-African trade.
“The AfCFTA is doable. But we first have to address the bottlenecks and barriers to trade to promote trade on the African continent,” she said.
Asked about the factors for Rwanda’s success story after the country coming out of war and genocide in 1994, Dr Kacyira, among other things, attributed the country’s success story to leadership, a people-centred leadership, policies, effective planning and unity.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE