Egypt and Rwanda: 40 Years of Brotherhood
Egypt was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Rwanda from the Belgian occupation in 1962. Moreover, Egypt was one of the first countries to establish an embassy in Kigali in 1976.
Rwanda has resident representation in Egypt, particularly after reopening its embassy in Cairo in 2015 after closing it during the civil war from which the country suffered in the nineties of the last century. In the past, diplomatic representation was conducted through the Rwandan embassy in Addis Ababa.
Bilateral relations between the two countries
The Egyptian-Rwandan Joint Committee was established in September 1989. There is a common aspiration in the two countries to expand areas of cooperation, develop trade ties, and make use of Egypt’s experience in the framework of rebuilding the Rwandan state.
Egypt pays due attention to the geostrategic importance of Rwanda through several themes; the first one is that Rwanda is a Nile basin country, in addition to the logistic site of Rwanda, which is considered a commercial crossing and a point of contact with its neighboring countries. Moreover, Rwanda is one of the fastest growing emerging countries as it is ranked seventh in the world for the most efficient and emerging governments in fighting corruption and facilitating investment procedures.
E-Governance and Resources Development
10 years ago, Rwanda introduced the electronic government system. It is one of the African countries that pays due attention to education, where the literacy rate is more than 70%. It plans to eliminate illiteracy through the efforts of unpaid volunteers.
Rwanda is one of the most successful African countries as it has achieved a constant economic growth rate that has ranged between 6% and 9% annually since 1995, which rose to 7.5% at the end of 2015.
In terms of tourism, Rwanda is considered one of the fastest-growing economic resources. Thus, its partnership with Egypt within the major economic blocs gives Egypt the advantage of increasing quantities of its products exported to the Rwandan markets. At the same time, Rwanda is a promising market for investments and joint projects.
The Import-Export scale
Egyptian-Rwandan economic relations enjoy the advantages of the Common Market of Countries for East and South Africa, “COMESA”, as Rwanda is one of the countries that has implemented a 100% reduction in customs fees.
Egyptian products witness growing promotion in the Rwandan market. It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian-Rwandan trade exchange was worth $23.4 million in 2018, compared to $16.93 million in 2017. Widening and increasing the exchange trade have been discussed in response to the two leaders’ interest in enhancing and developing bilateral relations to meet the needs and interests of the two countries.
In January 2021, Egypt activated the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. The trade exchange volume between Egypt and the COMESA countries reached $3 billion in 2020, equivalent to about 60% of the total value of Egyptian trade exchange with the African continent during the same year, according to the Egyptian Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center.
The most important Rwandan exports to Egypt are tea, coffee, pineapple, bananas, and horticultural products that are exported directly to Egypt.
Egypt’s exports to Rwanda are diverse: petroleum products, tinned foods, furniture, painting and building materials, etc.
The exchange trade between Egypt and the African countries reached $4.8 billion in 2016 as against $4.5 billion in 2015, as the exports amounted to $3.4 billion in 2016 while the imports amounted to $1.4 billion.