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Cablegate: Department of Transportation Engages Rwanda

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0712 2011437
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201437Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3030

UNCLAS KIGALI 000712

SIPDIS

INFO AMEMBASSY DAR ES-SALAM
INFO AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
INFO AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
DEPT FOR AF/C, AF/RSA, EB/TPP
DEPT ALSO FOR AF/EPS FOR CTRIMBLE, THASTINGS
DEPT PASS TO USTR FOR WILLIAM JACKSON
DEPT PASS TO DOT
DEPT PASS TO DHS
DEPT PASS TO FAA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAID EAIR ECIN PREL ECON RW KE TZ UG
SUBJECT: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ENGAGES RWANDA

1. Summary. At the request of USTR, Department of Transportation
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Susan McDermott led a
delegation to Rwanda to explore areas of assistance. The GOR was
keen on soliciting support for a COMESA air traffic management
project, but the main focus of the visit was on identifying areas
in which the USG could support aviation safety and security. The
immediate outcome of the meetings was for the Department of
Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
to return to Kigali in the next few weeks to conduct a security
assessment, with subsequent recommendations, of the Kigali
International Airport. End Summary.

2. Department of Transportation (DOT) Deputy Assistant Secretary
Susan McDermott led a delegation of aviation safety and security
experts from DOT, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and
the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) to Rwanda from June 28 - July 1. The
delegation was in the region to meet with the Secretary-General of
the East African Community Secretariat and the Directors General
of Civil Aviation of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda to determine a
plan of action for the announcement of the first regional safety
oversight organization in Africa. This was part of a program of
continuing communication and coordination of assistance provided
under the auspices of the Safe Skies for Africa Program. Deputy
United States Trade Representative Ambassador Karan Bhatia asked
the DOT to conduct an exploratory mission in Rwanda to investigate
potential assistance to enhance its transportation system to
increase economic growth and enhance trade opportunities.

3. GOR officials were eager to garner support for a project to
control air traffic management for the entire COMESA region. This
is an initiative the GOR has developed with the help of two
American consultancies, Williams Aviation and ARCON. The GOR has
been looking for ways to finance this project, yet the DOT
delegation explained that the initiative was beyond their scope,
especially as they would be interested in leveraging the work they
have been doing for the past three years with the East African
Community (EAC) rather than launching a new COMESA initiative.

4. The DOT delegation briefed GOR officials on their work with the
EAC and explored areas in which Rwanda could benefit. The DOT has
been working to harmonize regulations regionally to enable
national aviation authorities to share technicians and inspectors,
as they are in limited supply and expensive to train. The
upcoming admission of Rwanda into the EAC encourages both the GOR
and the DOT that Rwanda will be included in these efforts.

5. The meetings were very successful, as several areas of
assistance were identified. The FAA representative offered to
review the Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) ability to
oversee airlines safety and current aviation regulations, and the
TSA representative proposed a security assessment of the Kigali

SIPDIS
International Airport.

6. COMMENT. This visit was borne from the Trade Investment
Framework Agreement (TIFA) signed between the GOR and the US Trade
Representative. Bringing a high level delegation from the US to
investigate areas of potential USG assistance reinforced the USG's
commitment to Rwandan economic development. Follow-up is required
to ensure that the security and safety assessments offered to the
Rwandan CAA are conducted and further areas of assistance by the
DOT are identified. The meetings highlighted the fact that in a
poor land-locked country such as Rwanda, addressing infrastructure
concerns is a crucial trade facilitator.

THURSTON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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