URUGWIRO VILLAGE - A visiting delegation from the United States Congress has pledged to woo the US business community to invest in Rwanda.
Speaking to the press yesterday, shortly after meeting President Paul Kagame, at Urugwiro Village, Gregory Meeks, the head of the 5-member delegation which has been in the country on a 3-day visit said that Rwanda has proven to be one of the most favourable places to do business and it would be a major destination for US investors.
“I think the US can continue to send individuals here, businessmen especially, that would invest in Rwanda and also help the people of Rwanda. I think this is very important,” said Meeks who represents New York’s sixth Congressional district.
Meeks said that the new government led by President Barack Obama is committed to continue supporting the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) initiative aimed at combating diseases in different African countries including Rwanda, as well USAID projects that are aimed at supporting healthcare and empowering people to be self-sustainable.
“We want to be partners; I think the President was clear, he is not asking the US for aid, he is asking the US for partnership in economic development, in trade and investment from the private sector. We are going to do everything that we can when we get back to the US to assist the President in that matter,” Meeks added.
The Congress representatives who visited different development projects around the country that are funded by the US, commended President Kagame’s leadership, adding that the ‘future is promising’ before they committed to lobby for more economic development support for Rwanda from the US Government.
“We talked about different aspects; the great leadership he has provided, the Vision 2020 that he is looking ahead and not behind and how the US can continue to be strong partners of Rwanda in regard to economic development, helping the people, healthcare development, his vision of bringing the region together,” Meeks underscored.
He cited the recent meeting President Kagame had with his Congolese counterpart President Joseph Kabila, last month as one of the major steps taken towards regional economic cooperation and the region’s stability.
“We are tremendously pleased by what we have seen in the last 3 days and in our meeting with President Kagame….we are looking forward to working with him as the US House of Representatives as well President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.” Meeks added.
The group which includes Representatives Melvin Watt from North Carolina, Jack Kingston from Georgia, Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas and Marcia Fudge from Ohio visited the US Government funded PEPFAR project at Kigali University Hospital (CHUK) laboratory capacity building and Paediatric HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Centre of Excellence.
The project is praised as one of the most successful health projects funded by the US Government in partnership with the Government of Rwanda. They also held a meeting with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), On The Frontier (OTF), Urwego Opportunity Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) among others.
Finance Minister, James Musoni, noted that the US lawmakers were impressed by the good governance Rwanda has demonstrated which is in line with President Obama’s call for African countries to take on good governance as a major catalyst of socio-economic transformation.
“President Obama’s approach fits very well with the message and the vision of our President (Kagame) which he has continuously echoed that good governance is a foundation for socio-economic transformation that we need. This has also been demonstrated here.”
The delegation left for Zimbabwe yesterday.