Dar es Salaam — Tanzania and Rwanda yesterday signed four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in a bid to foster bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.
The two signed MoUs on cooperation in the fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Immigration, Education and the regulation of medical products.
Speaking shortly after signing the MoUs, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said talks with her Rwanda counterpart Paul Kagame centred on the need for strengthening economic ties between the two countries.
The relations that the two countries have presents a potential for growth of intra-trade and investment. Going by the United Nations International Trade Statistics Database, Tanzania exports were worth $247 million (about Sh568.1billion) to Rwanda in 2019.
Under the period of review, Rwanda exports to Tanzania reached $5.04 million (about Sh11.5 billion). President Hassan exuded optimism that Tanzania and Rwanda would benefit from a closer and stronger trade and foreign-direct investment-relationship that would amplify growth and prosperity, in both the short and long terms.
Deepening the economic relations would pay dividends in other areas as well, translating into greater opportunities for strategic bilateral cooperation. President Hassan said the two countries had committed to cooperating on the use of ICT, which is of paramount importance for the prosperity of both countries.
"Let me commend Rwanda for being a step ahead of us in the ICT field. We are ready to learn from you," noted the Head of State.
"We have made a commitment to cementing the existing historic ties."
For his part, Rwanda's Kagame said the two countries shared more than a border. The duo also share strong historical ties. "Our common aspiration to deliver prosperity to our people has always been central to our cooperation," said President Kagame.
With the signing of the four agreements, he added, they had committed to ensuring President Hassan's visit to Rwanda led to tangible results and gave renewed momentum to bilateral relationship.
This also, added President Kagame, gave new impetus to key infrastructure and investment projects of mutual benefits, particularly Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line, milk production and improved port logistics.
"Rwanda stands ready to work closely with Tanzania in the context of the EAC (East African Community) and beyond, in a bid to speed up our countries and region's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
"We need to continue working together towards the stronger and more prosperous EAC. "The challenges that our region faces can only be addressed through unwavering solidarity and seizing the opportunities that could come with our stronger bilateral relationship for mutual benefit partnerships." Ms Hassan arrived in Rwanda yesterday morning to start a two day State visit.
She was received at Kigali International Airport by Rwanda's minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Vincent Biruta.
He thereafter met her host, Mr Kagame, at Urugwiro Village, for a tête-à-tête followed by bilateral talks, before addressing the press and witnessing the signing of four bilateral agreements.
Later, President Kagame hosted the visiting president and her delegation to a State banquet at the Kigali Convention Centre.