Govt signs air service deal with Equatorial Guinea

Tuesday January 22 2019


Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Simoéon Oyono Osono and Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of Transport Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye after signing the Basa. PHOTO | URUGWIRO VILLAGE 

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The Government has signed a bilateral air service agreement (Basa) with Equatorial Guinea, which could see RwandAir fly to Malabo International Airport.

The deal was part of four co-operation agreements signed between the two countries during a state visit to Kigali by Equatorial Guinea’s President Theodoro Obiang Nguema — his second visit in the past four years.

The signed agreements include a rules of Procedure of the Joint Permanent Commission; a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Diplomatic Consultations and a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism.

In a joint press conference, President Paul Kagame and President Nguema said the two countries are committed to developing their good bilateral relations.

President Kagame commended Equatorial Guinea’s representation of Africa at the UN Security Council and its support for the African Union reforms.

Rwanda recently signed Basas with countries like Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Niger, Gabon, Mozambique and Guinea. Others are Cape Verde, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Botswana, Kenya, Burundi, South Africa and Swaziland. The country also recently signed Basa’s with Israel and Italy.

The deals come at a strategic time when the continent is moving towards operationalising the AfCFTA. So far, more than 25 African countries have accepted to open their airspace to fellow African countries.

RwandAir is planning to launch new routes, which include Addis Ababa, Guangzhou, Tel Aviv-Israel, Conakry, and New York.