We enter 2009 with caution. Our resolution being to remain vigilant. Fully conscious and aware of great successes made in 2008, we will not allow complacency to set in, among our leaders or the nation at large.
After so many lessons leant in 2008, we are a people blessed with past experiences, that give us a rich insight into planning for the future.
Blessed that we overcame the odds and challenges of 2008, some of them deliberately put in our way to weigh us down. In the midst of the storm we recorded tremendous victories. A hard fought international battle that saw Rose Kabuye join us home for Christmas.
We led Africa’s cause in fighting the abuse of the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, for that we became part of a progressive united front of regional, African and other institutions who have an abhorrence towards the manipulation of international systems, put in place as political weapons to victimize mostly those from poorer countries.
It is in this regard that we continue to offer leadership, challenging archaic notions of western superiority, while we offer a fresh direction in the delivery of justice on the international scene.
We too can offer solutions that will end the current global anarchy in the justice system, on the international scene, which by the way is a major cause of the many bloody conflicts we are witnessing today.
Vigilantly the hard won gains of 2008 will be protected, while working hard to score higher in 2009. We scored high when we elected the highest number of women to parliament, a wonderful 56.2 percent. The challenge is to now equip them to execute their parliamentary duties effectively.
2008 also saw us successfully fight our case on the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. We shamed our detractors, when we build consensus with our Congolese colleagues, that the root cause of the problems in the Congo, is the presence of the xenophobic FDLR, who have to be routed out of the conflict ridden region, if peace is to be restored.
On the economic front, while we continue to register phenomenal growth, the experience and expertise shown in 2008, has to be enhanced. We scored high in the coffee industry, being the first African country to host the Cup of Excellence.
We also received accolades in other competitions, for the fine quality of our coffee. Our tourism industry also registered phenomenal growth.
2008 was indeed the year Rwanda showcased herself as a country to reckon with. Vigilantly, 2009 will see her set sail for another exciting 12 month journey.