Nyamasheke, 16 January 2013

Today in Ntendezi, President Kagame met with thousands of residents of Nyamasheke marking the first day of a western province tour. President Kagame began by thanking those present for their hard work and their continuous contribution to Rwanda’s development.

“We must continue to work hard for ourselves and to give our children a better future.No Rwandan should remain dependent on other nations.There is nothing stopping us from working together to achieve self reliance” President Kagame told Nyamasheke residents.

Commenting on the current situation in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, residents of Nyamasheke explained that the conflict did not change the good relationship with their neighbors and trade partners.

“I am happy to hear that the good relationship and partnerships with our neighbors continues. Working together and not taking part in conflict is what will result in our common development,” President Kagame responded.“Security is the foundation of our development. We should not allow anyone to undermine our achievements. We have seen enough instability and insecurity in our past.We must move forward,” President Kagame added.

The visit was also marked by testimonies from residents who thanked President Kagame for his work to improve the lives of Rwandans.

I used to live in thatched roof home and I had no source of income. Today, I have a home, I own cows and I am able to provide for my family,” Mukankusi Lucie explained. “Thank you for promoting unity, for giving women a voice and for economic development,” added Mukangenera, another Nyamasheke resident.

Following these testimonies, residents were given a chance to interact with President Kagame through a series of questions ranging from settling land disputes to increasing accountability of the court system.

You should demand accountability when you think we are not doing our job right. You should hold all of us leaders accountable, including me,” President Kagame reminded Nyamasheke residents.

Bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Western Province is Rwanda’s coffee capital. The region ranks first in coffee production and serves as one of the vibrant economic centers of the country. Following today’s visit, President Kagame will meet members of the local private sectors as well hold meetings with residents of Rusizi in Rukamba and Kamembe.