Rwanda, Ghana Ink Investment Pacts

Ghana has announced plans to establish a chocolate production plant in Rwanda, as the two countries seek to boost trade and investment ties.

The deal is one of the outcomes from the just-concluded week-long business trip to Ghana by a delegation of Rwandan officials and business operators from different sectors.

The delegation was led by the Chief Tourism Officer, Rwanda Development Board, (RDB), Belise Kariza.

"Both Rwanda and Ghana committed to forging joint partnerships in tourism and trade to enhance exchange of best practices and capacity building," Rwandan High Commission in Ghana said in as a statement.

RDB and Ghana's Cocoa Board plan to announce full details of the deal in the near future including the establishment of a chocolate processing plant in Rwanda.

The New Times understands that the plant is expected to be established in Kinigi, Musanze District.

According to information from Ghanaian media, as part of the partnership, Ghana will supply processed organic cocoa in a form of cocoa nibs or cocoa liquor, from which the chocolate will be processed in Rwanda.

In reciprocity, Rwanda will also establish a formulation plant in Ghana for the production of organic pyrethrum-based pesticides for crop protection, veterinary use and public health.

Rwanda produces pyrethrum on a large scale.

This will help cut transportation costs and bring affordable organic products closer to the Ghanaian farmers, according to reports from Ghanaian media.

While there have not been official details on the time frame of the deal, reports indicate that the two countries have agreed to undertake collaborative research on pyrethrum and Cocoa to ensure greater yields to the benefit of farming communities in Rwanda and Ghana.

Meanwhile, the two countries have also agreed to forge partnerships between tourism stakeholders to develop Rwanda-Ghana joint packages for international tourism.

Other areas to explore include the creative art industry, travel and hospitality sector, education, culture and agriculture.

Officials from both countries have called on for support from stakeholders for the collaboration to succeed, saying that Ghana-Rwanda had set the tone for others to follow.

Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Export Promotion Authority, is quoted in Ghanaian media saying that collaboration between the two countries was the beginning of the journey to explore more business opportunities.

She called for commitment between the two countries for the partnership to work, saying "we need to operationalize these concepts to be fruitful."

Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Rwanda High Commissioner to Ghana, commended Ghana for the warm reception, describing it as a passionate moment to uphold the dignity of Africa.

She was confident that the collaboration would succeed to ensure the effective realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

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