France Reinforces Partnership With Rwanda with Agreement Worth €400M

On 6 April 2024, Rwanda and France concluded a Partnership Agreement covering several areas with a total worth estimated at EUR 400 million. The Agreement was signed by Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vicent Biruta and his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne at the seat of the Rwandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Kigali.

The visit of Minister Sejourne occurs in the context of the 30th anniversary commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Sejourne acknowledge that France and its allies failed to stop the genocide. Conflict flared between the Tutsis and Hutus and led to the mass murder of nearly one million people between April and July 1994.

Although officially invited to the commemoration ceremony, French President sent his apologies and delivered a message via video. In his place, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne made the trip instead.

Rwandan President Kagame sounded unperturbed by the absence of the French President and told reporters that “France is entitled to send whomever they please.” Although Rwanda has been expecting an official apology, France has so far stopped short of doing so.

“France, which could have stopped the genocide with its Western and African allies, did not have the will to do so.”

French President Emmanuel Macron

In an investigative report commissioned by the Rwandan Government and published in 2021, the report found that France played a ‘significant role’ in enabling the bloodshed through its support of the regime in place at the time.

Coming back to the current ties between Rwanda and France, this Agreement will run until 2028 and covers health, environment, youth and aviation. RwandAir operates three flights to Paris every week.

According to the French side, France has mobilized some EUR 500 million in support of Rwanda’s development from 2021 to 2023. For instance, the French Development Agency (AFD) financed numerous projects involving #SME, #EnergyTransition and #Digitalization.

In June 2023, Rwanda and France signed a Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (#DTAA) to promote trade and investment between the two countries. In addition, at #COP28 in December 2023, France and other countries proposed an International Carbon Tax to finance mitigation and adaption measures to #ClimateChange for the developing nations.