Kigali, 01 January 2011
Friends of Rwanda;
As we begin another year, I would like to wish all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda a happy and prosperous new year.
This is an occasion for all of us to look back on the past year and reflect on the good progress we have made, but also take time to look ahead and resolve to do more and better.
There can be no doubt that the gains Rwanda is making cannot be reversed. Every Rwandan should therefore feel confident and optimistic about the future because we are on the right path to development.
The challenge we must now face is scaling up the process to ensure all Rwandans enjoy a higher standard of living. We have built the solid foundations we need to get us to that level in terms of institutions, physical and social infrastructure and an enabling political environment.
As we have demonstrated many times, our country will be transformed based on our own efforts – planning and working together to ensure food security, build more schools and hospitals, reach all parts of our country with water and electricity, improve the road network and build better settlements. Friends and partners come in to complement what we are already doing.
Similarly, we have shown that we are prepared to pursue and defend our national interests, beliefs and values, and the truth.
These are the qualities that have distinguished us in the past and will continue to be our mark in the future. This is the meaning of our dignity, which we must uphold.
In this New Year, I urge all Rwandans to continue in the same resolute manner to pool our energies, scale up private sector and business development. This will enable us to increase tourism, industrial output and agricultural programmes such as irrigation and crop intensification, and build a prosperous country for ourselves and the generations to come.
We have now reached a level where Rwandans have begun to fully and steadily exercise their rights and freedoms. We have already seen this in the recent presidential election and the National Dialogue, and it will be no different in the upcoming elections for senators and local authorities.
This demonstrates the significant progress we have made in our democratic journey from which we do not intend to turn back. Let me take this opportunity to once again thank you for the trust and confidence that together we can achieve the future we want.
Friends of Rwanda;
The outlook of our relations with other countries continues to be very good. In the year that has just ended, we ratified the East African Community Common Market Protocol; an important step in strengthening our integration process. We shall continue to develop our relations and trade regionally and beyond, especially to further economic development and prosperity.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that our country’s development lies in our own hands. This requires that we take full ownership of all ideas and activities that will advance our goals, continue to have confidence in ourselves and uphold our dignity by pursuing what we know is in our best interests.
Once again I wish you a happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year.