Hon. Francois Ngarambe, the Secretary General of RPF-Inkotanyi, has made the case for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying that it will yield mutually beneficial result for Africa and its partners.
He was speaking at an international inter-party conference that brought together heads of political organisations from different countries across Africa, and the ruling party in Russia, the United Russia party.
The Secretary General, who represented RPF Chairman, H.E Paul Kagame, said he strongly supports mutually beneficial cooperation, adding that it was an important factor to building an equitable international order, and a brighter future for both Africans and Russians.
“The cooperation conference also comes at a very critical time when Africa and my country Rwanda are at a turning point in various ways and present unique opportunities of cooperation in trade and technology where Russia excels globally,” he said.
The meeting, which was held virtually, was attended by different heads of state in their capacities as party leaders, including President João Lourenço of Angola, Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy. Also present was Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki.
The Russian delegation was led by Dmitry Medvedev, the Chairperson of the Russian ruling party.
The Secretary General, who was accompanied by senior cadres in RPF including commissioners representing different dockets, said that the AfCFTA creates new opportunities for African businesses and partners including Russia.
“By eliminating 97 per cent of all tariffs on intra-Africa traded products by 2035, AfCFTA further liberalises five priority services,” he said, listing these services as tourism and travel, business, transport, finance and communication services.
He added that Rwanda welcomes cooperation in fields such as IT, scientific research, global health governance and new sources of energy.
Already, Rwanda and Russia are in advanced stages of collaboration to rollout nuclear as a source of energy in Rwanda.
In October 2019, both countries signed an agreement that laid ground for the establishment in Rwanda of Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology (CNST) with the latest technology of a 10 MW pool- type reactor.
The centre will feature six multi-purpose sections; Research Reactors and Lab Complex, Centre for Nuclear Medicine, Multipurpose Irradiation Center, and Radiobiology Laboratory and Greenhouse.
Meanwhile, Ngarambe said that as both Russia and Africa advance the cooperation between respective business communities, and other institutions, it was important to create an enabling environment for such cooperation to take place.
“Peace and security presenting themselves as some imperatives for other developments to materialise, the RPF-Inkotanyi attach great importance to cooperation in the establishment of peace and security in Africa.”