Ghanaian and Rwanda businesses have expressed the optimism that trade between the two countries will be enhanced after participating in the first Rwanda-Ghana Business Summit held virtually on Thursday, with more than 300 businesses and regulators joining in on the call to learn and understand the business and investment opportunities that exist in both Rwanda and Ghana.
The Summit, organised by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) with the Rwanda High Commission in Ghana playing a facilitation role to connect and promote exchange of goods and services between Rwanda and Ghana and profile investment opportunities offered by both countries, had the Ghana Investment Promotion Council and Rwanda Development Board as well as the Food and Drugs Authorities (FDA) of the countries making presentations to participants on available opportunities in the two countries.
Break-out sessions on the virtual summit held for businesses with interest in the manufacturing, agro-processing and services sector brought participating entities closer to one another in collaborating on other partnership opportunities amid implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Summit, which was held just days after a Ghanaian business delegation returned to Accra from a familiarisation tour to Rwanda, is set to consolidate the strong relations between the two growing African economies and help push up trade volumes in the face of a stronger partnership and collaboration between the various bodies: GEPA and RDB, the two FDAs and between the Chamber of Commerce Ghana and Private Sector Federation, as more engagement and support is expected to follow soon.
The High Commissioner of Rwanda in Ghana, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, in a remark to open the Summit talked of the relations between Rwanda and Ghana, and said that the establishment a chancery in the country will help businesses in both countries to connect and do business.
“It is about creating relationships and partnerships in the face of boosting intra-Africa tourism and trade,” she added.
Presently, bilateral trade data available at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority show that trade between the two burgeoning African economies is very low – at less than US$1million: but there is a growing confidence among policymakers and businesses that measures put in place to expand trade volumes between the two countries will yield significant results in the next few years.
This is particularly so as the low volume and value of trade between the two countries present an opportunity for businesses to do more amid both bilateral and multilateral measures to boost intra-Africa trade.
The Deputy CEO of GEPA, Sam Dentu, commenting on the trade relations between Rwanda and Ghana at the Summit said: “Trade between Rwanda and Ghana is very low. It is imperative for our two countries to intensify our trade relations. Today is an engagement we hope will bring meaningful collaboration between Rwanda & Ghana”.
This virtual trade promotion event thus builds upon a number of initiatives implemented over the last one year, in line with strengthening economic and trade relations between the two sister African countries.
Among others, RDB conducted a successful trade mission in the first half of 2020, during which trade and business opportunities in both countries were mapped. This mission also played a key role in establishing contact between counterpart institutions as well as kick-starting engagements with Ghana’s Private Sector, as it culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) aimed at promoting and facilitating trade between both countries.
It is expected that the Summit has paved the way for more business deals among Rwanda and Ghanaian businesses, and will further open trade opportunities in both countries.