Kigali, 16 December 2013
President Kagame today at Parliament delivered the State of The Nation Address, a Constitutional provision that requires the Head of State to present to citizens of Rwanda a general annual outlook of the nation politically, economically and socially.
In his address, President Kagame expressed satisfaction with the prevailing security and stability in the country, which has enabled residents of Rwanda to feel at home, go about their work unfettered throughout the country at any time of the day:
“This is the same stability and security we wish for other countries as well. Rwanda’s stability affords us the basis to continue to work on building our economy. This year’s figures reflect continued growth of our economy. Currently, growth stands at 6.6% and is predicted to be higher in the coming year. Beyond these figures is the continued improvement in the well being of Rwandans.”
President Kagame said there is ample evidence that beyond these figures, there is continued improvement in the well being of Rwandans, manifested in export revenues of 489 million dollars this year, representing a 27% increase over last year, where most of the exported products are agriculture-based, a sector in which most Rwandans are involved. President Kagame said the launch of the East African Commodities Exchange is a significant step because it benefits farmers by providing a permanent market for their products.
President Kagame also projected that the mining sector revenues would double this year, judging by the performance of the sector in the first six months of this year, where 30 million dollars was registered in mining revenue compared to 39 million dollars for the whole of 2012. President Kagame also gave an overview of investments in Rwanda, which he said have continued to increase steadily where Overall, RDB registered 456 million dollars in investments in the first six months of the year, compared with 538 million dollars in total in 2012.
“Tourism continues to be our top foreign exchange earner. Between January and October this year, Rwanda received over seven hundred and fourteen thousand visitors who injected 217 million dollars into our economy, a 4% increase over 2012. This year also saw growth in financial services by banks, SACCOs as well as other credit granting institutions. Between September 2012 and September 2013 bank deposits banks grew by almost 20% and loans granted increased by 13%.”
President Kagame noted that Agriculture continues to be a significant factor in Rwanda’s economic growth which he projected would grow by an estimated 5.4% this year. He said that Rwandan tea and coffee continue to be recognised for their quality internationally.
“It is critical that we continue to increase agricultural productivity in the coming years and to enhance value addition in this sector. We must also further develop the practice of rain harvesting and grain storage to mitigate the dry seasons.”
President Kagame also gave a general outlook of the state of health; justice, education and governance which he said have continued to improve, thanks to deliberate efforts by the Government of Rwanda.
President Kagame reminded Rwandans that this country is now a member of different international organizations, and it was pertinent that for Rwandans to benefit, they need to they need to uphold their values and dignity.
“For us to be able to contribute to those International organisations as well as get some benefits ourselves, we as Rwandans always have to have our own value. That is the main purpose of the new initiative that we have started of Ndi Umunyarwanda. It is therefore important that we keep supporting it, because it’s the right way to go. Next year, we will be commemorating the Genocide for the 20th time and we will also celebrate our Liberation for the 20th time. In that respect, I would like to sincerely thank all Rwandans as well as all the others who work with us for the level we have reached so far in building our country.”
President Kagame said that Rwandans have faced many challenges and managed to overcome many of them and that there was no doubt that with cooperation, unity and using our own strength, they would reach many more of their goals in the coming years. President Kagame took the opportunity to wish all Rwandans a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014.