Rwanda eyes stronger ties with Biden Administration

Rwanda eyes stronger ties with Biden Administration
Published
Monday, 25 January 2021 ~ Lavie Mutanganshuro

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Vincent Biruta, has said that Rwanda is ready to strengthen ties with the administration of the new President of the United States, Joe Biden.

Biden was sworn-in on January 20, becoming the 46th President of the US.

"We are ready to continue working with the new administration in strengthening existing relations between our two countries including levelling up existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest," Biruta, who is also the Government's Spokesperson told The New Times.

The country also anticipates reinforcing economic cooperation with the US, he said.

"We look forward to strengthening our bilateral economic exchanges and pursue discussions on trade relations after the AGOA expiration in 2025, taking into account the importance of regional and continental integration agenda, particularly the recently launched ACFTA," he explained.

AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) is a trade arrangement under which countries in sub-Saharan Africa export their products to the US duty-free. It first came into force in 2000 for a period of 15 years, before it was renewed for 10 more years - to 2025.

According to Biruta, Rwanda and the US currently cooperate in various areas of mutual interest including trade and investment, defence, health, agriculture, and food security, education and youth development among others.

The promotion of economic empowerment, democracy, human rights, and governance is also high on our bilateral cooperation agenda, he added.

Cooperation on global issues

A while after replacing Donald Trump on the top leadership of the United States, President Biden declared to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and ordered federal agencies to start reviewing and reinstating more than 100 environmental regulations that were weakened or rolled back by the former president.

The move was welcomed by environmental experts in Rwanda who said that developing countries including Rwanda could get more financial support to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects including those that are inevitable.

According to Biruta, cooperation with the US around climate change is another area of interest to the country.

He said: "We are particularly excited to resume cooperation with the new administration on global issues including climate change, a high priority to our government."

Besides climate change, Biruta noted that; "Rwanda looks forward to working with Biden's administration on other global concerns such as the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic."

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