Luxembourg’s bilateral relations with Rwanda and Niger are historically focused on development cooperation, recalls the visit of a Luxembourg delegation to these two countries until 7 June, including Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (DP) and the Minister of Economy, Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs Franz Fayot (LSAP). Last year, the government thus signed the fourth indicative cooperation program (ICP), a four-year expenditure plan with Niger endowed with a budget of approximately 145 million euros, the highest amount ever granted to Niger. a partner country. Niger is considered an ally in the Sahel region and has been receiving development cooperation aid since 1989.
The current PIC targets several measures in a series of key sectors in the country, including access to drinking water, health, sustainable agriculture and education. Other priority areas of the framework agreement target women and youth, sustainable and inclusive growth, and governance.
Evaluate the humanitarian policy
Earlier this year, Minister Franz Fayot met the Prime Minister and President of Niger during a working visit where he signed a €15 million agreement to support inclusive finance and sustainable within the framework of the PIC. The project is implemented by Ada Microfinance in collaboration with the Luxembourg development agency, LuxDev.
In addition to multilateral and other civil society and private sector initiatives in the country, LuxDev executed around six major projects on bilateral bases under the previous PIC. Due to the country’s socio-economic context, the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index ranks Niger last out of 189 countries, based on indicators such as life expectancy, education and per capita income.
During a recent parliamentary session, Franz Fayot had mentioned that Luxembourg aims to strengthen its general development cooperation policy by emphasizing the role of the private sector as one of the main pillars for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
During the visit to Niger, bilateral exchanges will assess the humanitarian and security policy with the Republic of Niger and the Sahel region.
The delegation will also visit Rwanda, where Luxembourg has been implementing development cooperation projects for almost 25 years. Recently, Rwanda signed a series of agreements with the Grand Duchy, including a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) and a memorandum of understanding aimed at supporting Rwanda’s ambitions to become a financial center for international investments in the region.
The MoU was signed on the sidelines of Africa Microfinance Week in October and identified four strategic areas of cooperation, including talent development for financial sector professionals, sustainable finance, activation of the fintech ecosystem and the development of the impact investment market.
An agreement between the Luxembourg and Rwanda stock exchanges
In March, the Luxembourg (LuxSE) and Rwandan (RSE) stock exchanges signed a long-term memorandum of understanding as a means of connecting the two countries’ financial markets. In 2020, the Kigali International Financial Center was established in Rwanda with the aim of consolidating Rwanda’s position as a gateway for investment on the continent.
During the visit to Rwanda, bilateral discussions will focus on relations between Luxembourg and Rwanda in economic and digital terms. Luxembourg companies are active in Rwanda and several others have indicated their interest in doing business in the country.
In 2020, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce organized a webinar on business opportunities in Rwanda. Representatives of Luxembourg companies active in the fields of digital, satellite, FinTec and ICT and health will be part of the visiting delegation, which will also take the opportunity to participate in the World Telecommunication Development Conference which takes place in Kigali.
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