Rwanda and Uganda moves to strengthen relations


“We’ve just been looking at the opportunities that exist between the private sectors of both countries, as well as dealing with policy makers. What we have realised is growth between Rwanda and Uganda in this first year has grown by 25 per cent, which is quite remarkable,” Uganda’s ambassador to Rwanda Richard Kabonero told CNBC Africa.

“We have also been looking at how to enhance the business relationships and this trade, including challenges in infrastructure and high transport costs, ICT, in telecoms. We have explored a number of areas and what we can do to improve the business climate.”

The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is however a setback, especially as Uganda and Rwanda share close borders with the country. A number of improvements are however underway to maintain relations with the DRC.

“Uganda has been the chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes, and we have held about nine summits, hosted by Uganda, to try and bring an end to the conflict. Uganda is [also] the mediator between the M23 and the government of the DRC meeting in Kampala,” Kabonero explained.

“Tremendous progress has been made. There are only about 10 per cent of the issue left and we believe that in a few weeks, the talks will come to an end and peace will be restored in the DRC.”

Uganda is also part of a tripartite arrangement between the Kenyan and Rwandan government on a railway line, which will pass through Mombasa, Kigali and Kampala.

Kenya, another of Rwanda’s and Uganda’s neighbour, has been a prominent feature in international politics.

This is since the International Criminal Court’s call for president Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy William Ruto, to stand trial for allegedly playing a key role in the 2007 and 2008 election violence.

“We remain concerned with the issues happening in international justice systems. Uganda believes that there are some reforms that are urgently needed to have a fair and balanced system.  We really are very supportive of the Kenyan government in terms of trying to see reforms in this area,” said Kabonero.