Relations between Germany and Rwanda are wide-ranging. The swift assistance provided by Germany following the genocide and civil war of 1994 continues to be appreciated by Rwandans. The German colonial era plays a minor role in bilateral relations. Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze and Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke last visited Rwanda in 2022. Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite strong economic growth and development achievements, more than 50% of the population still lives in poverty.
Development cooperation between the two countries is a major component of bilateral relations. It focuses on sustainable economic development, training and employment, peace and societal cohesion, as well as climate and energy. Close cooperation also takes place in the area of digital transformation.
Rwanda is part of the G20 Compact with Africa initiative launched by Germany to improve economic framework conditions. Since the COVID-19 crisis, Germany has also been an important partner to Rwanda in the field of health, for example through the work of the Robert Koch Institute, the multilateral COVAX vaccine initiative and the planned opening of a BioNTech vaccine production facility.
The Goethe-Institut has been represented in Kigali as an independent institute since 2014. In addition to providing support to the education sector, the focus in Rwanda is on cultural projects and offering scholarships. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has maintained an office in the country since 2018.
At the decentralised level, Land Rhineland-Palatinate has maintained a close partnership with Rwanda since 1982 and has its own coordination office in Kigali. In 2022, Minister-President Malu Dreyer visited Rwanda in the context of the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the partnership, with which many non-state players such as universities, associations, schools, churches and enterprises are involved.