- Leaders of Our National Institutions
- Friends of Rwanda
- Banyarwanda, Banyarwandakazi
I would like to start by greeting you all.
We have come to the end of the second year of living with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our country has had to learn fast and adjust to the new challenges of this health threat as it evolves.
However, we have made good progress, and the state of our nation remains strong.
I want to thank all Rwandans for your hard work, and commitment to the development and wellbeing of each other, and of our country, particularly during these challenging times.
This year, Rwanda has had to manage many challenges, including in the health, economic and security sectors.
One important way that we have sought to protect Rwandans, is through comprehensive nationwide vaccination against Covid-19.
So far, 80% of our population aged 12 years and above, has received at least one vaccine dose.
We thank all those who have been involved in this critical exercise, including our partners who have provided vaccines and other support.
Going forward, we must be more self-reliant, and better prepared for future shocks.
This is why we are partnering with the African Union, the European Union, as well as companies like BioNTech, to manufacture vaccines and other pharmaceuticals in Rwanda, starting next year.
As a result of prudent decisions made this year, Rwanda’s economy experienced strong growth, which we expect to sustain.
The Economic Recovery Fund, totalling 100 Billion Rwandan Francs so far, has allowed the most affected businesses, including in the tourism and hospitality sector, to stay open, and keep Rwandans employed.
We have mobilized additional funds for the second phase of this program, which will support existing investments and new ones.
I want to take this opportunity to commend our taxpayers, who continued to contribute to Rwanda’s economic development, despite the pandemic.
Covid-19 has reinforced the linkage between technology and economic growth.
Rwanda’s early investments in digitization have proven to be an asset, preventing our society from being crippled by this pandemic, and future ones.
We encourage all Rwandans, especially our young people, to continue to innovate and create solutions for the challenges of today and tomorrow.
After many disruptions, Rwandan schools reopened and stayed open for a significant part of this year.
Students were able to sit for national exams during the lockdown and move on to the next phase of their education.
Local government elections took place after being postponed. We now expect a lot from the elected officials, the most important being improved service delivery to citizens.
The agriculture sector continues to be key, contributing 25% to the national economy in 2021.
Rwanda remains food secure, with sufficient reserves. I would like to thank our farmers, for their resilience in these times.
Despite the many challenges in travel and gathering, Rwanda was able to host important events this year, including the inaugural Basketball Africa League, among others.
A significant factor in Rwanda’s continued progress is our strong collaboration with partner institutions and countries.
Regional and continental integration remains at the forefront of our agenda.
We are strengthening existing bilateral ties, as well as exploring new, mutually beneficial areas of cooperation, with countries in our region and beyond.
This includes partnerships to address security challenges, including in Central African Republic and Mozambique.
Rwanda is able to pursue these forms of cooperation because the security and stability of our country is assured, and it remains a top priority.
Part of this is ensuring that anyone who threatens the safety and security of Rwandans is brought to justice, and held accountable.
Let us continue working together, and build on what we have already achieved.
I wish you, and your loved ones, a peaceful, healthy, and happy end of year.
I thank you for your kind attention.