Africa We Want


Rwanda and Mali held the first Joint Permanent Commission meeting on Monday, leading to the first substantial cooperation deals between the two countries. The two countries signed a total of 19 agreements in various sectors, including defense, security, justice, health, mining, energy, agriculture, fishing, environment, and climate change on Monday. By Al Mayadeen

Rwanda and Mali inked the deals following discussions of a Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) that convened earlier, chaired by Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Vincent Biruta and his Malian counterpart, Abdoulaye Diop.

Diop made an official visit to the country, where he also met with President Paul Kagame, in which he conveyed a message from the head of the Malian government, Colonel Assimi Goita.

The JPC focused on discussing avenues for trade and cooperation, boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.

As a result of the meeting, additional agreements were reached on matters such as citizenship, culture, tourism, higher education, transport, national reconciliation, and the free movement of persons and goods.

Intentions to boost cooperation were first made news after an agreement was reached between government representatives during a sideline meeting at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, in September 2023. The agreement established the Grand Mixed Commission of Cooperation.

Africa is in a stage of mutual learning – Diop

Mali first opened its embassy in Rwanda in 2017, however, the two countries had not established substantial bilateral agreements up until Monday. It is worth noting that Diop is serving under Colonel Goita’s government, which has worked on establishing strong ties with its neighbors and regional states.

In a statement, Diop said that African governments are in phases of “mutual learning,” stressing that African nations must “understand that what binds us together is extremely important,” in comparison to what binds them to partners outside the continent.

On the other hand, Rwanda’s Biruta said that the two countries share many common goals regarding economic development, continental solidarity, and a shared vision of inclusive, sustainable, and collaborative development based on mutual respect and trade.

“We also have other draft agreements that we need to finalize, including an agreement on non-taxation, an agreement to prevent tax evasion, a memorandum of understanding to accelerate the implementation of the agreement on the African continental free trade area, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of sports,” Biruta added.

Author: MANZI


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