Kigali, 23 August 2012
President Kagame today told Rwandans that there is no documented evidence of a nation or people anywhere in the history of the world who progressed by receiving assistance by other people. He said this at the launch of the Agaciro Development Fund and signing of Imihigo (performance contracts) by Mayors, Ambassadors and Ministers.
Before commencing his speech, President Kagame paid homage to the late Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, with a moment of silence. President Kagame described Prime Minister Zenawi as an eminent leader who worked for Africa’s progress and said his passing was a loss not only to Ethiopia and Ethiopians, but to the entire continent.
Speaking on the significance of the Agaciro Development Fund, President Kagame called on Rwandans to lead the drive for self-sufficiency and draw strength from the injustices experienced to work hard and end dependence:
“Other people may provide assistance and this should not be considered entirely a bad thing. However, such assistance should only come as a supplement to what has been generated by ourselves, because assistance by other people is like anesthesia; both offer temporary relief. We are not changing our relationship with our partners and neither are we trying to isolate ourselves. We are simply trying to add value to the relationship because aid is never enough and we need to complement it with homegrown schemes to accelerate growth.”
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa said Agaciro Development is not meant to replace aid but to supplement other sources of funding to expedite progress.
“The priority is to contribute to the socio-economic prosperity of Rwandans and accelerate our financial autonomy. Resources will be invested in specific projects and results made public. Accountability of the funds will be a crucial aspect.”
Public and private sector agencies, individual leaders and ordinary Rwandans made an initial pledge for contributions to the fund amounting to 1.2 billion.
Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi presented government priorities for the years 2012/2013 and Mayors, Ambassadors and Ministers signed the new Imihigo. The Prime Minister also pledged to follow up the implementation of the pledged performance targets by the government. Kicukiro District was mentioned as the best performer in achieving the just concluded Imihigo of 2011/2012.