Village Urugwiro, 21 January, 2010

President Kagame today hosted diplomats to a New Year luncheon at Village Urugwiro. In his speech to the Diplomats, President Kagame extended best wishes to the diplomats, their families, countries and organizations they represent in Rwanda for a happy and prosperous new year. “I trust that you are enjoying your stay in Rwanda and that during the festive season you had a deserving rest from your otherwise demanding schedules,” president told the diplomats.

President Kagame noted that relations between Rwanda and countries and organizations represented by the diplomats continue to be marked by close cooperation and mutual support and understanding. “It is our desire that this existing cooperation will be maintained, strengthened and even scaled up for the benefit of our countries and organizations. Rwanda continue to make progress and our citizens are keen to speed up the pace towards more sustainable development. They want to increase their productivity and have access to clean water and electricity and markets for their produce. They want to enjoy the benefits of education, information and communication technology and all kinds of freedoms based on these strong foundations,” President Kagame said. President Kagame said that the Government of Rwanda is working to empower Rwandan citizens in order to enhance their participation in political and economic spheres of the country in order to realize the country’s dream. “We ask our friends and partners with whom we have been working to stay the course and remain part of this worthwhile endeavor as we continue to be true partners with you as well,” the President said.  President Kagame pointed out that initiatives on which development partners have worked with Rwanda such as the Development Partners Meeting provide the impetus for even greater cooperation as the country moves forward.

President Kagame said that Rwandans would like to build on this kind of mutually supportive initiatives – since relations of any sort are built and thrive on mutual trust, respect and benefit. “I have no doubt that you have found evidence that Rwandans are willing and committed partners, steadfast friends with whom you can do business. In fact in Rwanda, what you see is what you get,” President Kagame said. President Kagame emphasized that the Government and people of Rwanda will continue to play their role towards the regional and international obligations that they have committed themselves to. He reiterated that Rwanda’s relationship with the diplomats, their nations and organizations should be based on what is visible on the ground, some of which they have played a role in bringing about. “In this case I thank you once again for the supportive roles you have played and through you, your countries have played in making these things happening in Rwanda happen. We have made investments in Rwanda and have patiently and jointly re-built this country and put it back on its feet.  It is therefore important that when you make investments, you want to continue realizing the benefits of that investment and you want to protect that investment. I am sure that as partners it is in our interest to continue to protect what we have built together,” President Kagame said.

Earlier on in the day, President Kagame received credentials from five new Ambassadors accredited to Rwanda at Village Urugwiro. The new Ambassadors will represent the United Kingdom, China, Turkey, Djibouti and Australia in Rwanda.