President Paul Kagame yesterday toured income-generating activities in Rutongo, Rulindo District, where he later addressed thousands of residents who turned up to welcome him.
After touring major development activities in mining and farming, the President praised the entrepreneurs behind the district’s development and urged them to double their efforts.
“It’s not only you who benefit from what you do, it’s the entire country,” the President told cheering crowds who had gathered at Rutongo grounds.
Farming and mining are the district’s main economic activities with beans, Irish potatoes, wheat, passion fruit, coffee and tea standing out as the main crops grown, while Rutongo and Nyakabingo mines are some of the biggest mining concessions in the country.
Rutongo Mines Ltd, which was privatised in 2008 and is run by South Africa-based TINCO Investment Ltd, currently produces 50 tonnes of cassiterite (tin ore) per month on average.
It is the largest cassiterite producer in the country and a proud holder of the first ever conflict-free mineral certificate by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
Rutongo Mines employs 3,000 miners and many residents in the area have hailed it for creating jobs, mostly for the youths.
“Mining is important in this area. Some people may not work as miners but their children who have jobs (in mining) can take care of their parents,” said 65-year-old Jean Uwimana.
Another mining concession in Rutongo, the Nyakabingo mine which was privatised in 2007, is operated by Euro Trade International in partnership with TINCO Investment Ltd.
Nyakabingo currently employs 1,500 people and produces approximately 25 metric tonnes of wolfram per month.
President Kagame called on the residents of Rulindo and Rwandans in general to work hard to increase productivity and invited everyone to play a significant role in national development.
He promised Rulindo residents continued Government support to help them increase production in as many sectors as possible.
“We want to see you increase productivity and this should happen in the shortest time possible,” the President said.
With a population of 288,452 and 74.6 per cent of households accessing clean water, Rulindo is one of the country’s best performing districts in economic development and poverty reduction.
Kagame was also briefed about the strides the district has made in the area of financial literacy The district ranks top in Northern Province in the use of financial services with 45.5 per cent of the district’s households keeping at least one savings account.
The President also spoke of the need to jealously guard the country’s achievements, including its hard-earned stability. “Our development cannot be sustained without stability and security. Security cannot be donated to us. It is up to each of us to build the future we deserve”