Despite political tensions between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), recent statistics indicate that trade between the two countries continues to flourish.
According to a report published by the National Institute of Statistics (NISR), during the first quarter of 2023, the DRC ranked second among the countries to which Rwanda exported goods of high value, following the United States Arabs.
Rwanda exported goods worth $44.32 million to the DRC during this period, accounting for 10.46% of the total value of its exports. This amount exceeded the value of goods sent to major countries such as China, England, and Switzerland.
Interestingly, the DRC also topped the list of countries from which Rwanda imported goods that it subsequently exported. In the first quarter of 2023, Rwanda sent goods worth $145.4 million to the DRC, representing 93.09% of the revenue generated from this trade.
These figures demonstrate that despite the strained political atmosphere, trade between Rwanda and the DRC is thriving. In comparison, during the first quarter of 2020, Rwanda exported goods worth $19.8 million to the DRC, which significantly increased to $44.3 million in 2023.
Similarly, the value of goods imported by Rwanda from other countries and subsequently exported to the DRC rose from $73.9 million in 2020 to $145.4 million in 2023.
The stability of trade between the two countries is not only evident in the numbers but also observable on the ground. In Rubavu District, for instance, there is a constant flow of people crossing the border between Rwanda and Goma, engaging in small business activities.
Even during the night, the area remains bustling with trade, as evidenced by the presence of cars with Congolese brands in Rubavu.
Leaders in Rubavu District have affirmed that the strained relationship between Rwanda and the DRC has not significantly impacted the lives of the people. They note that individuals continue to cross the border for trade purposes, with normal business activities taking place throughout the day.
Overall, despite the political challenges, trade between Rwanda and the DRC has not only remained resilient but has also experienced significant growth, benefiting both countries economically.