Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Rwanda and Benin agree to strengthen Bilateral Ties

Cotonou, 04 February 2017 – Rwanda and Benin have agreed to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. This was disclosed at the conclusion of a working visit to Benin by a Rwandan delegation led by Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda, from 02 to 04 February 2017. They were received by Beninese delegation led by Minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Aurelien Agbenonci.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the recent establishment of the cooperation between Rwanda and Benin, reactivated by the signing of Agreements in Kigali during the state visit of President Patrice Talon, from 29 to 31 August 2016. They welcomed the non-limiting nature of the areas of cooperation set out in the Framework Agreement, and expressed their resolve to work towards the implementation of those agreements for tangible results.

During a working session, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Benin and Rwanda and their delegation focused on the current state and prospects for cooperation in various domains such as agriculture, exchange of experience, textile know-how, City planning and air transport. It was agreed to step up bilateral talks.

Regarding the implementation of the Visa Waiver Agreement, the Government of the Republic of Benin has taken transitional regulatory measures pending the amendment of its legislation on the entry and stay of foreigners while working on the establishment of the logistical framework to support the effectiveness of this measure. In addition, a circular has been sent to the diplomatic and consular missions as well as to the various border posts in Benin for the application of this measure. The Benin side assured the effectiveness of this measure for Rwandan citizens. Minister Mushikiwabo welcomed this progress.

On the implementation of the Framework Agreement, the parties agreed to deepen the sharing of experience and to work together to realize projects in the fields of security, e-administration, agriculture and textiles, finance, multilingualism, management exchanges, housing, sanitation, land management, air transport, investment and others. To this end, an ad-hoc working group has been set up to agree on specific projects for the rapid achievement of tangible results.

Both sides pledged to continue and deepen political consultations and dialogue, including through diplomatic representations. Benin assured to take an active part in the reform of the African Union alongside Rwanda and to coordinate their efforts for a stronger African presence in international fora and particularly in the United Nations system.

The parties agreed to organize the first session of the Great Joint Cooperation Committee in Rubavu, Rwanda in the first half of September 2017. Specific dates will be decided by diplomatic channels.

Meeting with President Patrice Talon

The Rwandan delegation was received in audience by the Head of State of Benin, President Patrice Talon, who reiterated his gratitude to President Paul Kagame for making high-quality cadres available to Benin. He expressed his expectations of what he called the Benin-Rwanda space, an example of South-South cooperation.

President Talon insisted on three major areas of cooperation: the dematerialization of the Administration; the merger of the Customs and Tax Administrations; and finally the Cadastre. However, he indicated that many other areas of cooperation existed, including the rapid exchange of human resources in these areas. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda confirmed that Rwanda was quite willing to send its best cadres to support cooperate with Benin.


View photos from the visit here

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