Rusizi, 17 January 2013

Today in Rusizi, President Kagame met with thousands of residents gathered in Rukamba-a site widely known for its hot springs. President Kagame arrived in Rukamba following a tour of the new site of the three decades old cement factory CIMERWA as well as the newly constructed rice factory, Amashyuza Rice Mills-Sodar. Welcomed by cheers from the crowd, President kagame began by expressing his appreciation for the progress Rusizi continues to make and encouraged residents to continue working towards self reliance:

“You all have a role to play. It is your contribution that will lead Rwanda where we want it to be,” President Kagame told Rusizi residents. “With the amount of resources available in this region, you should be able to end dependency and achieve self reliance. Development starts in the mind. You must believe in your ability to better yourself,” President Kagame added.

President Kagame also called on leaders to move beyond asking for resources to finding ways to generate more resources.

“We cannot pride ourselves in managing resources that don’t belong to us. Let us work on creating and building our own resources,” President Kagame urged.

Residents of Rusizi were also given the opportunity to interact with President Kagame and hold their leaders directly accountable for promised services. Residents also shared the role that coffee production has played in creating economic transformation in the region. “I used to be a farmer, harvesting other people’s coffee. Today, I am part of a cooperative and we own our own coffee washing station. We have contributed to the community and built four classrooms. Today, we are able to sell our coffee beyond Rwanda. We are exporting as far as Japan,” explained Nzagirane Fiacre.

Women residents shared examples of the results of promoting gender equality. Byukusenge Lucia, a Rusizi resident who received a cow as part of the Imbuto Foundation Malayika Murinzi program told those present: “Leaders in my community now include women. Today, I am able to provide for my children, send them to school and when they come home they even teach me English,” Byukusenge said. President Kagame ended the second day of his Western Province tour by urging all present to continue working hard.

“We will continue to work with you, hand in hand, to achieve even more in the future,” President Kagame said.