The Minister of Justice of São Tomé and Príncipe in Rwanda to accelerate bilateral relations – Taarifa Rwanda
The Minister of Justice of São Tomé and Príncipe, Dr. Cilcio Santos, is in Rwanda to seek meaningful ways in which the two countries can strengthen their cooperation and share knowledge and skills in the justice sector.
He has been in the country since last week where he arrived in the country with a delegation that includes the country President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.
On Friday, May 20, the delegation was received by the Deputy Prosecutor General of Rwanda, Angélique Habyarimana. Officials discussed ways to strengthen judicial cooperation and share experiences.
It was also an opportunity to learn how the National Prosecuting Authority is applying Rwanda’s Integrated Electronic Case Management System as a digital means of processing cases.
Yesterday, Monday 22, the delegation went to the Rwandan Bureau of Investigation (RIB) where it was received by the Deputy Secretary General of the RIB, Isabelle Kalihangaboalongside the directors of different departments.
The purpose of their visit to RIB was to compare RIB’s role in investigating emerging crimes and the use of technology, in particular the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS).
The small, flexible and reform-minded country has tried to build from a base of almost nothing and is now well placed to capitalize on the surrounding wealth of the West and Central African region. It now spreads its wings to the East to forge stronger ties.
Minister Santos’ visit is one of many reciprocal visits between various officials of the two countries.
In 2017, Rwanda and São Tomé and Príncipe agreed to boost bilateral ties after a delegation of senior Rwandan officials led by former foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo visited the African island nation.
The delegation composed of senior officials and technical experts discussed a wide range of issues aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
About São Tomé and Príncipe (Wikipedia)
Officially, the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is an island country in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa.
It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, about 150 km (93.21 mi) apart and about 250 and 225 km (155 and 140 mi) off the coast of the northwest coast of Gabon.
With a population of 201,800 (official 2018 estimate), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second smallest African sovereign state and the second least populated after Seychelles and a GDP of US$355 million and GDP per capita US$1,668, nearly double that of Rwanda. .
The islands were uninhabited until discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century. Gradually colonized and settled throughout the 16th century, they collectively served as a vital trade and trading center for the Atlantic slave trade.
The rich volcanic soil and proximity to the equator made São Tomé and Príncipe ideal for growing sugar, later followed by cash crops such as coffee and cocoa; the lucrative plantation economy relied heavily on enslaved Africans.
Cycles of social unrest and economic instability throughout the 19th and 20th centuries culminated in peaceful independence in 1975.
São Tomé and Príncipe has since remained one of the most stable and democratic countries in Africa.
The inhabitants of São Tomé and Príncipe are predominantly of African and mestizo origin, most practicing Roman Catholicism.
The legacy of Portuguese rule is also visible in the country’s culture, customs and music, which fuse European and African influences. São Tomé and Príncipe is a founding member state of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries.