Rutsiro, 18 June 2015

President Kagame began a two day visit to the Western Province in Rutsiro where he was welcomed by tens of thousands of residents from the district gathered at the local stadium. Speaking to residents on Rwanda’s future, President Kagame emphasized the importance of citizens and public service to hold one another accountable:

“When citizens work together to achieve results, it is their right to demand results from the leaders they elected.”

Calling on all to reject the notion of an Africa destined to poverty, President Kagame urged citizens to work towards economic prosperity:

“We were not created to be eternally dependent. We were not created to be defined by poverty, disease, hopelessness or not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

“We are on a journey to restore dignity for every Rwandan. Every Rwandan should be able to speak for themselves, be self reliant and make their own choices,” President Kagame added.

President Kagame pledged to the residents of Rutsiro to increase efforts to ensure access to electricity. The first day of President Kagame’s Western Province tour ended with a meeting with 1500 opinion leaders. During the meeting, President Kagame called on leaders to be intolerant of corruption:

“We should not tolerate leaders who use resources that do not belong to them for their own benefit. Knowing our ambitions and the few resources we have, we cannot afford to tolerate corruption. We cannot survive it.”

Reminding the leaders of Africa constantly falling short of its potential, President Kagame pointed to the exploitation of Africa’s resources that has not resulted in transformation for the people of Africa:

“The world comes to Africa, drains its resources and leaves us behind to run after them begging for their leftovers. We accept the status quo and go to church to beg God to help us when he has given us all we need”

“They tell us that resources are a curse. But I know of no greater curse than poverty combined and dependency,” he added.

President Kagame concluded by calling on all leaders to play their part in transforming Rwanda into the nation it deserves to be.

The tour of the Western Province will end with a meeting with residents of Karongi district.