Kagame: Economy has grown despite challenges
President Paul Kagame has said that despite various challenges this year, Rwanda’s economy grew rapidly, applauding stakeholders for their efforts in making this possible.
The president delivered his State of the Nation address yesterday at the 17th Umushyikirano Council and reminded Rwandans that while the economy has been growing steadily over the last few years, 2019 has done exceptionally well despite various challenges.
“In this year that we are ending, our economy particularly grew rapidly and it was unusual and surprising because we were facing many challenges, including border issues, security threats and others,” he said.
The President told Rwandans that the country was now funding its budget to a tune of 84 per cent, which demonstrates a lot of effort that have been put in
Kagame, however, reminded the participants that while 84 per cent is good, it was still not enough.
Given the country’s geography and history, there is always need to work harder and faster, he said.
“There is a certain leader who once said that where everyone else may walk, for us, we are required to run. If we don’t run we are in trouble,” he said.
While the economy is projected to grow by 8.5 per cent, Kagame said, we actually should be aiming for 10 per cent because our issues are different from everyone else’s.
The President’s target is well in line with the current economic outlook.
In the period between July and September, the Rwandan economy expanded by 11.9 per cent, raising prospects of surpassing the current projection.
He highlighted the improvements made in constructing roads, the improved supply of electricity and the need to invest more in promoting agriculture since it is one of the main pillars of the economy.
When we started the 2020 vision plan, you remember where Rwanda was, he said.
Today, Kagame added we have an airline, which gets filled to capacity.
“We are building the Bugesera International airport, we have sports and entertainment centres that are fast-growing and all this comes with development and we should do everything possible to support such ventures.”
He highlighted the need to continue promoting tourism, pointing out the Visit Rwanda campaign which he said has become very lucrative.
Security and stability
Kagame also pointed to the strength of the stability and security, attributing it to combined efforts of the citizens and the country’s friends and development partners.
The Head of State also reminded those in attendance that even though the country historically had security issues, which as a result led to the loss of over one million lives during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, there is need to draw lessons from it and move forward.
He touched on the issue of those who aim to destabilise the country, saying that they would be dealt with.
“We’ve urged all Rwandans wherever they are to return home and we have a conversation on whatever differences we may be having. Some have chosen a different path and they continue to be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
This year’s Umushyikirano discussions will focus on issues surrounding the advancement of social development through strengthening community resilience, highlighting the participation and collaboration of all Rwandans for sustainable development.
The participants will be joined by other citizens in and outside the country through social media messages and video conferencing from across the country.