BY EDWARD K. MWESIGYE
KAYONZA — Following country-wide celebrations of Taxpayer’s Day, the state minister in charge of skills development and labour called on Rwandans to strengthen the culture of saving as one way towards achieving total independence from foreign aid.
Mrs. Angeline Muganza echoed recent remarks from President Paul Kagame that aid, though needed, is ‘undignified.’ More importantly, for the economy of Rwanda it has been necessary, and difficult to break away from. The first step, Muganza said, falls on the shoulders of regular Rwandans.
“People in the developed nations teach school-going children a culture of saving right from tender ages, while here parents teach children to buy sweets!” she said.
“Rwandans must strengthen the culture of saving the little incomes earned and re-invest it to generate enough for self-sustainability, rather than thinking about foreign aid all the time.”
Joining the East African Community meant wider and stronger competition, she said, and called upon Rwandans to be ready to compete. Paying taxes was crucial to the saving culture, and an imperative bond between government and citizen.
Representing private developers, Tom Rwagasana called on combined efforts between government, RRA, and the private developers. He said there still existed unclear laws on the taxation system. He called on RRA to extend more sensitization to taxpayers and asked government and RRA officials to come closer to the taxpayers.
Just over half, of the government budget, 52 per cent, are generated from national and local taxes.