France and Rwanda

Presentation

Political relations

Rwanda severed diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following the issue by Judge Bruguière of nine arrest warrants against Rwandan officials in the case of the attack on the aircraft of President Juvénal Habyarimana in April 1994. The Rwandan authorities decided to restore diplomatic relations with France on 29 November 2009.

Official visits

  • Visit by President Sarkozy on 25 February 2010 with the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and the Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie.
  • Visit by Mr Alain Joyandet, French Minister of State for Cooperation and Francophonie, on 7 April 2010.
  • President Paul Kagame attended the Africa-France Summit in Nice in 2010.
  • Visit by Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, on 19 July 2011.
  • Visit by Mr Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, on 12-13 September 2011.
  • Visit by Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, on 5 September 2012.
  • Ms Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, attended the Élysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa on 6-7 December 2013.

Economic relations

Trade between France and Rwanda is modest and amounted to €19.7 million in 2014, although French exports (€17.1 million in 2014) rose 22% compared to 2013, riding on the growth of the two leading export sectors: equipment and pharmaceuticals. France’s bilateral trade surplus stood at €14.6 million in 2014. Over 90% of French imports from Rwanda consist of tea and coffee.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Cultural action is an important dimension of bilateral cooperation. It is characterized in particular by the reception of Rwandan students in France, for whom the number of grants has doubled, and by French support for multilingualism in Rwanda.

Multilateral official development assistance (ODA) from France to Rwanda, channelled through international organizations and EU institutions, reached US $7.4 million in 2013. The outstanding balance of France’s current loan to Rwanda is US $15 million. The Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency) has a strong presence in two sectors: energy (electrification) and the banking system (non-sovereign loan to the Bank of Kigali for the granting of credit lines).

Updated: 10 October 2017

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