[Francophones] Je transfère cet article tel qu'il est publié par le quotidien New Times de Kigali
Bishop Venuste Mutiganda
audivia2002 at yahoo.fr
Dim 25 Jan 14:17:50 GMT 2009
Sunday, 25th January 2009
Kagame hails Rwanda-DRC joint operation
Diplomatic corps, representatives of international institutions and their spouses pose for a group photo with President Kagame at Urugwiro Village on Friday. (PPU Photo).
BY EDMUND KAGIRE
URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame has hailed the ongoing Joint Operation by Rwandan and Democratic Republic of Congo forces aimed at uprooting FDLR rebels crammed in the Eastern part of DRC.
Kagame said that for the first time, he is hopeful that the collaborative effort by the two countries to disarm remnants of the Ex-FAR- Interahamwe, now known as FDLR, will yield a lasting solution to problems of insecurity in the region.
Kagame was speaking Friday during a traditional New Year cocktail dinner in which he hosts diplomatic corps and representatives of international institutions and their spouses held at Urugwiro Village.
The President thanked the members of the diplomatic community for sustaining good bilateral and Multilateral relations between Rwanda and their respective countries and institutions.
He hailed 2008 as a successful year for Rwanda’s diplomatic ties despite the many challenges encountered such as the Global Financial crisis which dealt a heavy blow to world economies.
He added that nevertheless a lot was achieved on the economic and social front, all from the good relations that prevailed between Rwanda and other countries in 2008. He cited the increase in tea, minerals and coffee exports which earned Rwanda massive revenues last year.
He also said that Rwanda’s tourism sector registered a massive 46 percent growth in 2008, earning USD 214m from a record 1 million tourists who chose Rwanda as their destination in the past year, which he said was also a sign of good foreign relations.
Among other achievements, the President cited the steady increase in the volume of remittances by Rwandans in the Diaspora which reached USD 108m in 2008 and foreign direct investments in the country worth about USD 100m.
He also noted that development aid to Rwanda almost doubled and used the opportunity to thank Ambassadors, mission heads and representatives of international institutions and bodies for what he called the ‘invaluable partnership’ the Country has with their respective countries and institutions, urging them to do even better in 2008.
The President said that Rwanda’s economy has continued to grow, registering a 10 percent growth in 2008. He attributed the positive trend to the turn-around of several sub sectors of the economy making them more productive than they were before.
He cited the Agricultural sector which is the backbone of the economy as an example, saying that it is currently being transformed from a subsistence to a more productive agricultural sector through land reforms, use of improved seeds, fertilisers and use of modern farming technologies.
Kagame however said that a stiff challenge to lift many Rwandans out of poverty still remains and that there’s more to be done. The president said that there’s need to develop Rwanda’s workforce to make it a more professional and skilled sector.
He further said that Rwandans in the public and private sectors need to adopt better customer care practices that embrace international standards if they are to favourably compete with the rest of the world.
“We can no longer accept the culture of mediocrity of giving poor or substandard services” said Kagame.
The President told his guests who included Government Ministers and heads of government institutions that Rwanda is committed to Regional and continental integration processes. He noted that 2008 was a successful year in which Rwanda became the Chair of EAC.
He thanked EAC member states for working to remove Non-Tariff Barriers and implementing the EAC Customs Union as well negotiating the EAC Common Market which are all positive moves. He said that Rwanda is proud to be part and parcel of the Tripartite arrangement that will see 3 major blocs, EAC-COMESA-SADC merge to form a market of over 600m people.
On behalf of the diplomatic community, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Rwanda Richard Kabonero, who is also Uganda’s Ambassador to Rwanda, commended the government of Rwanda for its positive stand on development, saying that the international community was impressed by the several projects the government undertake.
Among them, he cited the 9 year basic education plan, the formation of Rwanda Development Board, successful Parliamentary elections in 2008 and the zero-tolerance stance the current leadership has on corruption.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Rosemary Museminali under whose docket diplomatic missions fall, said that Rwanda is even more determined to further strengthen her international and bilateral relations with the rest of the world in 2009.
The night was crowned with a toast of good relations suggested by the President before Inganzo Ngari, a traditional dance troupe mesmerised the presidents guests with a thrilling performance of local Kinyarwanda dances.
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