Home NewsRegional CAR PM Leads Delegation To Rwanda, To Strengthen An Already Deep Relationship

CAR PM Leads Delegation To Rwanda, To Strengthen An Already Deep Relationship

by Vincent Gasana
8:51 am

Prime minister Felix Moloua(L) and his Rwandan counterpart Edouard Ngirente

 We hear much about “African solutions for African problems,” and probably see all too little of it in action. For what it can mean however, we need look no farther than the relationship between Rwanda and the Central African Republic (CAR), which the CAR Prime minister and his delegation are in Rwanda to cement.

In many ways, the delegation led by prime minister Felix Moloua, and received by Rwanda’s prime minister, Edouard Ngirente, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Olivier Nduhungirehe, can be seen as part of the peace dividend, resulting out of Rwanda’s commitment to the peace and security of the CAR.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the CAR government spokesperson, minister for communication and media, Maxime Balalou, emphasised the economic nature of the visit, noting that such cooperation is built on a relationship between the two countries, that is an example of the so called South-South cooperation in general, and panAfrican in particular.

We are here to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries, in the economic field, especially. But we have a special relationship with Rwanda, primarily in security, and as the two prime ministers assured us, that relationship remains on the right track…It is a relationship that can be a model for South-South cooperation, and an example of fraternity between African peoples. This is the real meaning of this visit.”

The two countries have opened cooperation in almost every sector. For its part, after decades of internal conflict, from which it has yet to fully recover, the CAR sees Rwanda as an example of how a people can heal, and a nation emerge out of near total destruction.

We want are looking for cooperation in several sectors,” said Balalou, “from infrastructure projects, the mining sector, security and health sectors. We are in the midst of important projects for our people, and we think that Rwanda is a good model for us. We are keen to learn from their experience.”

We are inspired by Rwanda’s resilience, its capacity to emerge from as difficult a situation as this country has gone through. Given our own difficulties, we think Rwanda has many lessons from which we can draw inspiration, to develop and heal our nation.”

It is not the first time we have come to Rwanda, each time, we are inspired by the Rwandan people, and especially their capacity to unite. This is a challenge that the two peoples have faced, and today, thanks to our cooperation, the people of the CAR are more united and more productive.”

The sentiment was expanded upon by foreign minister Nduhungirehe.

It is an important visit for both countries, and we are confident of our continued cooperation. The relationship can be an example for other African countries coming together to ensure their own security, finding our own solutions to our problems, an aspiration that is pursued by the African Union.”

Apart from security cooperation, there are benefits for economic development in the South-South cooperation. For Africa in particular, intra Africa cooperation, where we trade with each other, learn from each other’s best practice is of great importance. For Rwanda to learn from CAR’s progress in the mining sector, for instance, and for them to see what we have managed to achieve, is the kind of thing that Africans should promote, and which may even contribute to self reliance, rather than looking outside Africa, for solutions to our problems.”

The CAR delegation will be in Rwanda for around three busy days. In the time available, they they will visit different areas of cooperation. Before the prime ministers’ meeting, the delegation had already visited the Gasabo gold refinery.

After the meeting, it was a meeting with the private sector, and of course, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), a government institution charged with private sector growth, as part of accelerating Rwanda’s economic development.

Before their departure, they will also have visited different infrastructure projects, including the recently refurbished Amahoro stadium, Kigali urban planning, and the medical hub, to name but a few.

The CAR has known little peace, since the France supported, self styled emperor, Jean-Bedel Bokassa. After his overthrow, several groups fought each other to inherit his crown, in the mineral rich country.

The United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), was established in 2014, to try and restablish peace and security in the country, with Rwanda among the countries with the biggest troop contribution to the mission.

In response to increasing attacks targeted at the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) contingent of MINUSCA, by one of the rebel groups, led by the country’s former President, Francois Bozize, Rwanda deployed another force, in 2020, this time, under an existing bilateral defence agreement, between Rwanda and the CAR.

This force has gone on to do more than provide support to the RDF contingent of the UN forces. It is no exaggeration to say that without it, it would have been impossible for the CAR to hold its elections in December of that year.

As well as continuing to provide security, alongside its CAR colleagues, the RDF is also engaged in training of CAR armed forces, with the view of enabling them to one day take over the security of their own nation, entirely.

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