Kagame: There is great value in being an ambitious country
President Paul Kagame reiterated Rwanda’s stance as a nation that sets ambitious targets.
While addressing a news conference for local and international journalists at Village Urugwiro yesterday, the Head of State said that much as Rwanda may have not achieved all the targets it set out in Vision 2020, a lot has been achieved.
“Let us say we will have achieved 85 per cent of the targets by 2020, but these were very ambitious targets; maybe we would have achieved 65 per cent of that had our vision not been as ambitious,” said President Kagame.
Launched in the year 2000, Vision 2020 is a government development blueprint with the objective of transforming the country into a knowledge-based middle-income economy, thereby reducing poverty, providing healthcare and building a united and democratic nation.
“Being ambitious pushes you as hard to the limit; if you get there, so much the better, if you do not, then you settle for the realistic position and accept it,” he said.
According to the President, much has been achieved over the past 19 years be it the country’s economic performance, unity and reconciliation, foreign relations and stability of the country.
He said that when the country embarked on the 2020 blueprint, there was little hope that even Rwanda as a nation would survive.
“There were no guarantees that we would even survive as a state, let alone what we have managed to achieve given our very complex situation…but it did not stop us from wishing to be there,” he told the news conference.
“So you get to see what you could have done differently…this then prepares you for the period ahead, as you plan going forward. But you must draw lessons from what happened in the past as you plan for the future,” he added.
Most importantly, he said, people should put effort in achieving the ambitions the country set out to achieve, and make the process as inclusive as possible.
Reacting to the rise in fake news that continues to affect different countries, Rwanda inclusive, Kagame said that this has been around for so many years, and that it is only becoming an issue because some “powerful” countries are now affected.
Stressing that Fake News is always spread for a certain reason or to push a certain narrative, he said that Rwanda has suffered it for the last 25 years.
“But it has never been called as such because some people who shape the world as we know it had not been affected. So it was not worth paying attention to as long as it was only affecting others,” he said.
He added: “Fake News is an old story; it originates from a viewpoint of some people who think they are entitled to think about how they want to shape Rwanda or Africa.”
The head of state also took time to explain the country’s relations with countries like China and Qatar, stressing that Rwanda’s or even Africa’s desire is to cooperate with nations in a mutually beneficial manner.
Regarding Qatar, he said that both countries are working on several projects in the area of investment.
“One of them is a partnership around the airport, around the airline (RwandAir), in the area of agriculture, hospitality and many other things. Our people have been working together to shape it in a way that it is expedited and ensuring the right investments are made,” he said.
In April, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, was in Rwanda for a three-day state visit, during which both countries signed four bilateral agreements.
The agreements were signed in the areas of culture, sports, cooperation in the field of tourism and business events.
The two countries also signed agreements between Aviation Travel and Logistics (ATL) and Qatar Airways.
ATL is the parent company of the national carrier, RwandAir.
President Kagame visited Qatar late last month where he, among others, spoke at the Smart Cities Expo.