Citizen outreach: Kagame urges Rubavu, Rutsiro residents not to waste trade opportunities

President Kagame waves to thousands of residents from Rubavu and Rutsiro districts on his arrival at Nyundo, Rubavu District on May 10, 2019. The President urged the residents to leverage their proximity to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and trade more with the neighbouring country. Village Urugwiro.

President Paul Kagame yesterday urged residents of Rubavu District to leverage their proximity to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo and trade more with the neighbours.

He made the call from Nyundo sector, where he met over 100,000 residents from both Rubavu and Rutsiro districts on the final stop of his three-day visit in the Northern and Western provinces.

Explaining that every region in the country has its economic potential, the Head of State told residents in Rubavu and Rutsiro that their districts can benefit more by trading with DR Congo.

“When we have good relations between the two countries, we can base on that and work towards prosperity on both sides,” he said, encouraging citizens not to waste any opportunities.

Residents of Rubavu and Rutsiro districts came in their thousands to welcome President Kagame on May 10, 2019. Village Urugwiro.

The President added that trading with neighbours will be even more successful if traders get better organised, domestically, explaining that Rubavu residents need to work harder to satisfy both the local and Congolese markets.

The President said that a lot that often doesn’t get done can be worked on through cooperation between leaders and citizens “to improve things”.

Among the improvements needed in Rubavu include increasing access to electricity, protecting land from erosion, and further promoting cross-border trade.

Kagame urged successful private entrepreneurs in Rubavu to create jobs for those who are disadvantaged and always strive to broaden their trade ventures.

“Entrepreneurs shouldn’t settle for less; they should always strive to grow their businesses to serve as many people as possible,” he said.

On security, the President reassured citizens that Rwandans are able to protect their country from any threats and encouraged them to focus on work to develop themselves.

He also encouraged residents in Rubavu and local leaders to focus on their children’s education and health and not to tolerate child labour.

The Mayor of Rubavu District, Gilbert Habyarimana, said that the district is now home to more than 400,000 residents.

“Rubavu residents are hardworking and live off different activities; including tourism, trade, and agriculture, among others,” he said.

Habyarimana said that the residents are thankful for infrastructure development in their area, such as the Pfunda-Karongi asphalt road, which is part of the Kivu Belt road that stretches from Rubavu to Rusizi, as well as a project to refurbish Serena-Marine-Brasserie road.

With the City of Rubavu now able to host more than 3000 tourists a day, the mayor called for the construction of an additional road around Rubavu Mountain. 

“We will keep improving our performance, uphold security, and focus on activities that enable our self-reliance,” the mayor promised the President.

During his three-day visit in Northern and Western provinces, President Kagame interacted with residents and held discussions with opinion leaders from the two provinces.