Gatsibo District, 20 April 2012

Greetings to you all, residents of Gatsibo and the entire Eastern province. I am delighted to be here with you and to thank you for the achievements you have made so far.

Thank you for making the time to be here in large numbers from long distances and enduring the scorching sun. On our way here we saw many things, most of them in line with nation building.

We have been impressed by the development projects we have seen and this indicates that there is progress although a lot still has to be done. The level of progress shows that we can achieve even more.

I am impressed by the level of progress I have seen on the ground. That progress is also evident amongst you all. When people are happy and looking good, they are also productive.

But how can we achieve our targets? If we can change our collective mindset and focus on work, we can achieve our targets.

Secondly, if you form cooperatives, your strength is greater and highly productive than if you do things as an individual. Many people stand to benefit. The government wants Rwandans to come together in cooperatives.

Thirdly; when people come together into a single unit, they improve their attitudes and work better. When people are united in cooperatives, the government will easily provide support to them in form of improving capacity of both the individual and group members, thereby increasing productivity.

However, the government’s capacity and strength are limited in this situation. The government can provide better support through partnering with investors and the private sector. Their (private sector) activities yield money and are profitable.  Investors work for profits. The government therefore wishes such people to develop further so that they can propel the development of our country forward.

The government wishes every citizen to make a profit from their work, to have security and develop. Government also wishes that individuals working on their own should unite with others so as to maximize profits.

In addition, there are two levels working together including the government and private sector. And so when the people, cooperatives and government and private sector work together, the country achieves greater development.

As Rwandans we don’t want to lag behind. People of Gatsibo, you have a foundation; there is dairy and crop farming, and if you combine both, you will increase your wealth.

Although there are challenges of poverty and development, we have to find solutions to them. What we need is to have the will and work to solve our challenges. Rwandans are like any other people, God gave us life, wisdom and energy and a country He gave us all the basic necessities to transform our lives and we shouldn’t waste them. But will God come to work for you, too? God will never come to till our land nor will he graze our livestock for us.

When people change their attitudes, everything will be possible in Gatsibo and the entire Eastern province and Rwanda.

The work of the President is easy. You make it easy.. My job is to give guidance and show the way. The President will not come to work on your farms for you. What I can do is to ensure that a citizen without a cow can get one, but I won’t come to graze it for them. I will ensure that citizens have seeds and fertilizers to help increase their yields, but I will not come to cultivate the land for them. Everyone should fulfill their responsibilities if we have to make any gains.

If you get access to electricity, use it to improve your lives, not just for lighting. As Rwandans we should always ask ourselves where developed countries (donors) get what they donate to us today. How can we get to where they are? Aren’t they humans like us? They must have done something to achieve their level of development. If someone hosts you, you should understand that it is only for a certain period of time, and you should work on moving out.

I have heard people here talking about challenges. But we also have solutions. We need to work together towards achieving the solutions. We shouldn’t be dependants for too long. We need to utilize all the opportunities we have, including electricity, roads, water, hotels and others available in Gatsibo to develop ourselves and our nation.

People of Gatsibo; you have the will and confidence, and are capable of working hard to develop.

I thank you once again for coming. And for those who are not with us here, I’m sure we are together wherever they are. I promise you that we shall fulfill our responsibilities and work together to develop Gatsibo and the whole country.

God bless you.