Rwandan’s take on prospects of joining Commonwealth

MP Theoneste Begumisa Safari: “Joining Commonwealth is very important to us. We definitely have a lot to gain from British colonies. Compared to other colonial blocs, British colonies are advanced in democracy and civilisation. These countries are also doing very well in the area of peace. Economically, they have advanced and by joining, Rwanda will benefit from the business opportunities they offer. Their quality of education is better and their standards are way higher.
L-R : MP Theoneste Begumisa Safari;Emmanuel Hategeka, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation
L-R : MP Theoneste Begumisa Safari;Emmanuel Hategeka, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation

MP Theoneste Begumisa Safari:

“Joining Commonwealth is very important to us. We definitely have a lot to gain from British colonies. Compared to other colonial blocs, British colonies are advanced in democracy and civilisation. These countries are also doing very well in the area of peace.

Economically, they have advanced and by joining, Rwanda will benefit from the business opportunities they offer. Their quality of education is better and their standards are way higher.

This will definitely be a chance to learn and also share experiences in different areas. We too have lots to teach them in democracy and good governance.”

MP Gideon Kainamura:

“We have been more than ready for Commonwealth.  We have a lot to offer as a country that has experience in consolidating post conflict governance. We have good experience in legislative governance, good leadership especially at district levels, fiscal decentralisation and empowerment of Rwandans in decision-making at grassroots level.

Another fact is that we trade more with English speaking countries, we share cultures with most of them so it will definitely work to our advantage to be part of their bloc.”

Senator Joseph Karemera

“This is a great opportunity for our nation, we are joining a bigger family that has developed, developing and under developed countries as member states.

Precisely there is much to learn and gain in terms of development which actually trickles down to the people in Rwanda.

Also Rwanda will benefit from the big diplomacy muscle; the commonwealth has over 2 billion people, Rwanda being part of this big population means that our voice will make a bigger impact.

In terms of direct benefits, there is much to gain in the education, health, trade and development and other sectors.

A simple example is that when our president makes friends with members of the commonwealth, money comes to Rwanda; imagine now when we join the bloc.

On the security level, we would sign treaties with member States and in this sense it will benefit the army and the security stability in the country.”

Emmanuel Hategeka, Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation

“It will open a window of opportunities for the business community. The private sector in Rwanda will greatly benefit from the Commonwealth in terms of exchange programs. We are looking at reaping big from the secretariat’s programs like capacity building and training to Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Robert Ssali, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community Affairs

“It will serve as an opportunity for Rwanda to share experiences with other Common Wealth members and learn from the success stories Rwanda has registered. Rwanda has practical and tested solutions in conflict management and prevention. We will be able to share this with other member countries.” 

David Rwiyamirira, Exporter

“I will definitely benefit from easily accessing a big market. Our products will get known on a much larger market. I have only been at markets in the US and Europe, this will mean something bigger than that.”

James Rudasingwa, Businessman

“We are really happy that we are joining this club. We shall be recognized better on the international market. It will be  much easier to identify ourselves with business communities in the other member states.” 

Mahesh, Businessman

“It is a very good idea, now that Rwanda is joining this club. We shall benefit in all different programs it offers,”
“For Commonwealth countries that wish to trade with Rwanda, there is a lot to be tapped in Rwanda. Not only is Rwanda a considerable market, but is also strategically located to easily access neighboring markets of Tanzania, DRC, Burundi, and Uganda.”

Shyaka Kanuma, Editor-in-Chief, The Rwanda Focus

“It is a progressive thing, there are many advantages that come with joining a group with so many countries in terms of trade and exchanges. It is also a way for Rwanda to show the world that there is a new way of thinking, new dynamism much as many people cannot recognise this,”

Ends

 

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