Rwanda and Ethiopia signed a cooperation agreement to strengthen their trade ties.
The agreement, that was signed on the sideline of the AGOA meeting that ended in Addis Ababa on August 13, 2013 is aimed at further cementing ties and to enhance trade between business communities of the two countries.
Trade and Industry Minister Francois Kanimba signed the agreement on behalf of the Rwandan government while his Ethiopian counterpart Kebede Chane signed of behalf of Ethiopia.
AGOA is the African Growth Opportunity Act, a platform that aims to enhance trade between African states and the United States.
“This agreement is only formalizing a framework for investment opportunities and trade between our two sister countries. I am confident that this will see significant increase in trade and business between Rwanda and Ethiopia,” Kanimba is quoted as saying in a statement from the Rwandan mission in Addis Ababa.
The trade agreement is a foundation document and framework that guides and encourages trade and investments between Rwanda and Ethiopia, according to the statement.
In March 2013 Rwanda and Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen defence and military cooperation when Ethiopia’s Minister of Defence and its Chief of Staff visited Rwanda.
The then, Rwandan Minister of Defence, General Marcel Gatsinzi said Rwanda and Ethiopia shared a long history of cooperation in defence and the new bilateral deal would cement their strong relationship.
As Ethiopia’s Defence Minister, Ato Siraj Fegesa, noted Ethiopia was the first country to respond to the 1994 genocide and to call upon the international community to take action.
Military cooperation has largely been in the areas of education and training together with joint activity in international peacekeeping operations.
The diplomatic and political relationship of Ethiopia and Rwanda remains excellent. Both, of course, are members of the United Nations, the African Union, the African Development Bank and COMESA. They continue to cooperate closely with each other on a bilateral level, and in multilateral forums.